No masks in school

CCSD2 variance approved by Alexia Harrist on April 9


April 14, 2021

Just two days after the Carbon County School District No. 2 (CCSD2) Board of Trustees applied for a variance to their SMART Start Plan regarding the wearing of masks, it has been approved.

During the April 7 special meeting of the Board of Trustees, the board voted 5-2 to apply for the variance. Board members Paul Clark and Joe Gaspari were the two nay votes while new board member Nick Wamsley was not in attendance.

While Carbon County Public Health’s Amanda Brown, who was in attendance via Zoom, was asked what the timeline would be for approval she stated that she was unsure. She added that State Health Officer Alexia Harrist had promised that variances from school districts would be addressed quickly. On the morning of April 9, CCSD2 received its answer.

CCSD2 Superintendent Jim Copeland, through a district-wide notification, announced that Harrist had approved the district’s variance to remove the wearing of masks from the school district’s SMART Start Plan. 

It is vital that parents help us complete the year by keeping any student who is ill at home—with a concerted effort to keep them home if they experience any of the Covid symptoms,” wrote Copeland. “At this time, we have no students out on quarantine due to a positive result or direct contact with a positive individual, and there is only 1 active case in all of Carbon County.  This precaution will prevent direct contact which may require quarantines if it occurs.”

While the initial announcement appeared to mean that masks would not have to be worn in either school buildings or vehicles, Copeland issued a second announcement clarifying the variance. In an email sent to Copeland from Brown, she clarified that while Harrist could exempt districts from state health orders she could not do the same for federal orders. School buses and suburbans fell under the federal order mandating masks be worn on public transportation.

Monday morning marked the first day that students throughout the district were able to attend school without the requirement of a mask since the beginning of the school year.


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