DENVER (KDVR) — Denver will require face coverings in schools and childcare facilities effective Wednesday, Aug. 18.
The new public health order will apply to all people aged two and older when indoors at all schools and school-based extracurricular activities, regardless of vaccination status, Denver announced on Tuesday afternoon.
It applies to students, teachers, staff and visitors at all public and private schools, preschool through grade 12, and childcare facilities.
“While it’s imperative that all eligible people continue to get vaccinated, masks add another layer of protection for children, especially those too young to be vaccinated,” Bob McDonald, executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a press release announcing the order. “Requiring face coverings in schools and childcare facilities will protect against the spread of the highly contagious delta variant and will help maintain in person learning this school year.”
There are some exceptions for:
- People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or otherwise living with a disability where fully observing facial expressions is essential to communication.
- Individuals who must temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes.
- Individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role, such as law enforcement, firefighters or emergency medical personnel.
The order aligns with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends face coverings indoors in places with substantial or high COVID-19 transmission, regardless of vaccination status.