CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Eager to see another successful school year, Governor Mark Gordon is committed to standing behind local school districts as they make decisions on how students can return to the classroom safely. The Governor will not require districts to implement mask mandates. “Wyoming was first in the nation in having a safe and successful in-person school year last year,” Governor Gordon said. “My focus is on supporting local school boards as they take into account conditions in their community and work to assure students learn safely this year too.” As he has done throughout the pandemic, Governor Gordon will work with the Wyoming Department of Education and the Wyoming Department of Health to ensure districts are prepared to respond to changes in local conditions with equipment, testing and expertise. “We need to follow and respect the science,” Governor Gordon added. The Governor and First Lady have both been vaccinated and encourage eligible Wyomingites to choose to be vaccinated to protect themselves, their neighbors and their families. The Wyoming Department of Health recently reported that among 300 persons infected by COVID-19 who were recently hospitalized, nearly 94 percent were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The number of new COVID-19 vaccinations has been increasing during July as the Delta variant of the virus has become dominant in the state. “As our hospitals continue to see more COVID-19 hospitalizations, and as long-term and child care facilities are forced to close due to COVID-19 infections, it is time to remember all the things we learned last year and consider getting vaccinated as the most effective way to protect yourself against severe illness,” the Governor said. “And let us not forget the Wyoming way and work to be kind to one another.” Governor Gordon firmly supports the rights of private businesses to operate in the manner they deem best. In May the Governor issued a directive that prevents state agencies, boards and commissions from requiring “vaccine passports” to access state spaces and state services. That directive remains in place. It encourages other entities, including local governments and private businesses, not to impose vaccine mandates.