FCPH Official Releases Statement After Maskless Picture is Shared

(Fargo, ND) -- A high-ranking member of Fargo Cass Public Health is telling her side of the story after a photo was taken of her mask-less at a party in Fargo over the weekend.

FCPH Health Officer Dr. Tracy Newman was seen in the photo above without a face covering at a public function at the Great Plains Art Museum Saturday evening.

Dr. Newman has released a statement on the picture to WDAY Radio, which reads as follows:

“Thank you for the inquiry. I have followed COVID-19 mitigation strategies (including masking) while out in the community and every day at work, and I will continue to do so. My children have consistently followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) guidelines around safely returning to school and participating in sports & extracurricular activities during COVID-19.

As we continue to learn throughout this pandemic, the science evolves and the recommended guidelines change. I am proud to support the arts in our community and was masked for this event, when indoors. People briefly removed their masks to take a photo (which is seen on the social media post you shared in your email). I find it unfortunate that a photo -- where people were vaccinated and I was briefly unmasked -- is being used by some to divert this important conversation from the critical topic at hand.

We need to be making our best efforts to keep each other safe. As a community physician and public health official, I will always keep the safety and wellbeing of our community at the forefront.”

Along with working for Fargo Cass Public Health, Dr. Newman also is a member of the Fargo School Board, which became the only school district in North Dakota to mandate masks for students last week.