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DENVER (KDVR) — Boulder County Public Health will require a face coverings for schools and childcare centers, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

The order goes into effect on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

“BCPH recognizes the importance of in-person learning, and along with the public health order, it has issued recommendations and outbreak mitigation strategies for schools and childcare facilities,” Boulder County Public Health said in a press release. “These orders and recommendations balance the physical health risks presented by the delta variant with the academic, mental health, and social-emotional benefits of in-person learning.”

According to health officials in Boulder County, 39,500 school-aged children ages 5-19 are either ineligible for the vaccine (23,500 people) or unvaccinated (16,000 people).

“Our experiences and data in Boulder County during the 2020-21 school year, as corroborated by a number of international and national studies, have proven that, only second to vaccination, adoption of universal face covering policies are an extremely effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimize disruptive quarantines and isolations in the school setting,” the department said.

A few hours before the public health order was put into place, parents took to the streets of Boulder to rally against mask requirements for students.

“I don’t think they should be required to wear masks, they are traumatized from it,” said Laura Lasater. “There is already an uptick in mental health problems.”

At the Cherry Creek School District, dozens of parents came out for the Monday school board meeting to advocate for mask requirements after the district announced a few weeks ago that students would be given a choice.

“The most frustrating part is last year Cherry Creek protected our children, and this year, they are not following CDC guidance and have universal masking in schools,” said Fiana Gau, a Cherry Creek parent. “Please mask your kid. The delta variant is scary and serious.”