DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s health department recommends school districts implement mask requirements, particularly in high-risk environments where vaccination rates are low and transmission is high.
As new information has surfaced about the delta variant spreading among vaccinated people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
In response, Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment implemented the updated guidance on Friday night. It’s set to go into effect on Aug. 1.
Colorado COVID-19 school guidance
According to the state:
“When schools and/or their communities have low vaccination rates and are experiencing high rates of community transmission (defined as 35 cases per 100,000 people over seven days), the local public health agency should work with schools and school districts to institute higher precautionary measures, such as:
- Increased physical distancing.
- Serial COVID-19 testing.
- Contact tracing.
- Targeted quarantining.
- Limiting high risk activities….”
“This guidance applies to all circumstances where a teacher or caregiver cares for multiple children outside the usual home of the children. These circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- K-12 schools, both public and private.
- Licensed child care settings.
- Home-based family child care settings.
- License-exempt child care programs such as single skill building and 72-hour camps.
- Guest child care facilities at ski resorts and courthouses.
- ‘Pods’ and other home learning/homeschooling groups.”
“This guide also applies to extracurricular activities, including sports, where the participants are in grades P-12. Additional guidance for sports can be found on the Organized Sports page.”
Read the full guidance here.
LIST: COVID rules by school district
Here’s a list of COVID-19 rules that school districts have announced for the upcoming school year:
- Adams 12: Adams 12 Five Star Schools will require all students in preschool through sixth grade to wear masks indoors, regardless of what county the school is located in. Students in grades 7-12 are strongly encouraged to wear masks. All staff are required to wear masks indoors. Visitors and volunteers in all school and district buildings are required to wear a mask. Masks are required on buses, as well. As of Aug. 24, Adams 12 said it would stick with this policy, even as Adams County said it would opt out and leave it up to individual districts to decide.
- Aurora Public Schools: Effective Aug. 16, all students in child development centers, elementary and K/P-8 schools will be required to wear masks at school. Masks will be strongly encouraged for all students at middle and high schools. All unvaccinated staff are required to wear masks while vaccinated staff are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
- Boulder County: Boulder County Public Health issued a public health order to require face coverings in PK-12 schools and childcare settings. It went into effect Aug. 10. It requires masks for everyone age two and older, regardless of vaccination status, in the following settings: while indoors in any PK-12 school building in the county, while indoors at any childcare center or facility and while indoors and participating in a youth camp, youth extracurricular activity, youth gym activities and youth sport (and the requirement applies to all participants, attendees, spectators, staff, volunteer and coaches).
- Cherry Creek School District: All students from preschool-grade 8 will be required to wear masks inside school buildings, as will any staff members who work with them. Masks are also required on school busses per CDC guidelines and strongly encouraged for older students.
- Denver: The City and County of Denver will require all people aged two and older to wear masks when indoors at all schools and school-based extracurricular activities, regardless of vaccination status, effective Wednesday, Aug. 18. Denver Public Schools had already required masks when the order was announced.
- Douglas County: Douglas County will require masks inside school buildings for all students in preschool through sixth grade, as well as staff who work with the age group. The rule goes into effect Aug. 23, when a Tri-County Health Department order requiring masks indoors at schools and childcare facilities for students age 2-11 goes into effect.
- Englewood School District: Masks will be required for all students, visitors and staff while inside all Englewood schools, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will not be required outside, since the risk of COVID transmission is significantly lower outdoors. Per federal law, all bus riders must wear masks while being transported on school buses. Buses are considered public transportation.
- Jefferson County School District: Jefferson County Public Health issued a health order requiring masks inside all schools, child care settings and extracurricular activities for all individuals age 3 and older regardless of vaccination status. Masks are required in any location that serves students age 3 and older (child care settings, public schools, charter schools, and private schools). All students, staff, visitors and volunteers are required to follow this public health order in all Jeffco schools and district buildings.
- Poudre School District: Starting Aug. 5, the district began to require masks in PSD buildings for all staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.
- St. Vrain Valley Schools: SVVS will adhere to Boulder County Public Health’s mandate that requires masks for all students in grades PK-12 while inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
- Tri-County Health Department: The Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, will require all children aged 2-11 — and everyone working and interacting with them — to wear masks indoors at schools and childcare facilities, effective Aug. 23.
As more school districts release plans for the upcoming school year, this list will be updated.