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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Douglas County School District has not changed the requirement for all students, staff, and visitors to wear facial coverings inside school buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Following the public order issued by the newly-formed Douglas County Board of Health giving parents the authority to decide whether or not their child needs to wear a mask at school, DCSD said masks are still required in all indoor settings.

The district said that a medical exemption or a signed and dated declaration from a parent/guardian of children under 18 years of age, per the new public health order will allow students not to wear a mask.

DCSD wrote in an email to parents and staff: “Therefore, the Douglas County School District strongly encourages universal mask-wearing in school and electing to quarantine or isolate if exposed to a known COVID-19 positive case. Universal masking and targeted quarantines have been implemented to promote a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have found that this reduces disruptive isolations and/or quarantines while ensuring consistency of critical in-person learning. Providing our students with stability and routine is crucial to their academic success and mental well-being.”

The public health order issued by the county states that “certain children shall be exempt from any requirement to wear a Face Covering within Douglas County, if that child’s parent/guardian presents to any person or entity charged with enforcing and/or supervising such a requirement to wear a Face Covering, a written declaration, signed by the parent or guardian of the child, requesting to be exempted from the requirement to wear a Face Covering due to the negative impact on that individual’s physical and/or mental health.”

Masks are also still required for all students and staff traveling on school buses.