Two Wyoming state government agencies announced on Monday plans to deliver 500,000 face coverings to the state's schools.

The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and Department of Education say the cloth face coverings are washable and will help school districts meet safety needs as students go back to school this fall.

Under current guidelines, students and school staff are required to wear face coverings when six feet of social distancing is not practical.

The face coverings will be distributed next month to school districts through a collaboration between the department of health/homeland security and county emergency management agencies.

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said the event marks an unprecedented collaboration between public and private entities.

"As a result, we're seeing incredible partnerships formed that will hopefully remain permanent," Balow said in a news release. "As a result, we're seeing incredible partnerships formed that will hopefully remain permanent. The delivery of these face coverings is one of many accomplishments arising out of these strong state and private partnerships."

State Public Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said face coverings are essential as people can transmit the virus to others before they feel or show any symptoms.

"It's also becoming increasingly clear the virus spreads mainly between people when they are close to each other," Balow said. "Cloth face coverings have been effective in helping to block the spread of the virus."

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