Since school began in the Natrona County School District (NCSD) in September 2021, the district has recorded the number of COVID-19 cases and quarantines for students and staff in the district.

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However, at the beginning of the new year, the district announced that they are discontinuing the reporting of COVID-19 numbers.

Their reasoning has to do with updated guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which shortens the isolation period for people who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days down to five days.

Tanya Southerland, director of Public Relations for the NCSD, said in an email that they ask students and staff to follow guidelines provided by health care providers, the CDC, and the Casper-Natrona County Health Department.

The guidelines provided by the CDC also suggest people wear a mask for five more days after they're done isolating.

If you're vaccinated and exposed to someone with COVID-19, wear a mask when around others for 10 days, while those who aren't fully vaccinated or are unvaccinated should stay home for five days then wear a mask for five more days if exposed to someone who has COVID-19.

Southerland said the NCSD is not looking to institute a mask requirement.

The NCSD does not keep track of how many students or staff are vaccinated or wear masks.

The district also cited the decrease in reported COVID-19 cases in the district over time, which went from a high of 153 cases among students and 29 among staff from Sept. 11 to Sept. 24, down to 15 cases of COVID-19 among students and six among staff from Dec. 4 to Dec. 17.

However, due to the rise in the omicron variant of COVID-19, cases are increasing dramatically, both in Wyoming and across the country.

In the U.S. and Wyoming, each reported on Jan. 10 the most cases since the pandemic began, at 1,417,493 and 1,662 new cases respectively.

Cases in Wyoming have been rapidly increasing over the past month, going from a low of 106 on Dec. 17, up to 396 on Dec. 30, to 995 on Jan. 6, and 1,662 on Jan. 10.

The second highest cases in the state were seen on Sept. 20 with 1,541, which was also around when the NCSD saw its highest reported cases.

The district will also no longer offer remote learning for students who are out of school for less than five days.

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