Thanksgiving dinner photo

SWEETWATER COUNTY – Both Sweetwater County school districts along with Sweetwater County Public Health joined to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

“As this vacation begins, we ask that everyone enjoy their families, but we ask that everyone celebrate this safely,” a joint press release said.

The two weeks, Sweetwater County School No. 1 and No 2, along with local public health and medical community, said they have felt the full effects of Halloween weekend.

“If people do not take precautions over Thanksgiving weekend, the districts and medical providers will feel this full effect again beginning around the week of Dec. 7. If precautions are not taken over the Christmas and New Year’s vacation, both districts and medical providers will feel those effects beginning around Jan. 11 for about two weeks,” the press release said.

“If COVID cases continue to rise it will bring stricter mandates, further substitute shortages, and more cancelations of things we can offer the kids taking opportunities away from them. These opportunities could include, but not limited to canceling sports, activities, and events, or taking schools to a Tier 3 model.”

Under the Wyoming Department of Education’s plan for coping with the coronavirus, Tier 3 is all-virtual education. Sweetwater school are offering in-person instruction under Tier 1. Tier 2 is a hybrid combination of in person and online instruction.

“An increase will continue to negatively impact the medical community and what they are able to provide,” the release said.

The school districts and Public Health said the factors that could potentially take schools to a Tier 3 model include staff shortages, school spread, and/or the hospital becoming overwhelmed.

“Our hospital is currently feeling the impact of being short staffed due to COVID-19, which could limit the amount of care that can be provided. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get patients in need to Utah as they are at capacity,” the release said.

“This is not impacted to COVID care exclusively, this impacts individuals that have other health emergencies as well. As many would agree, moving to Tier 3 (solely online) would create a burden on many families and our community. We do not want to shut down, so we are pleading with our community to please do your part.”

Safety guidelines people can follow over the holiday include:

-- Washing your hands frequently

-- Maintaining 6 feet of distance between people of different households

-- Seating people of the same household together and separate tables 6 feet apart for Thanksgiving dinner

-- Wearing masks when you are within 6 feet and able. Remember the protection of the face mask is lost once it comes off

-- Keeping gatherings small

-- Maintaining awareness that loud talking and singing increase spread possibility

“Please help us keep schools open and our hospital staffed and not overwhelmed to provide proper care. We want to keep schools open and the hospitals in a state that they are not overwhelmed, please assist us with this,” the joint release said. “Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.

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