JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Jefferson County Public Health Department said it is aligning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for masks to be worn in schools, whether you’re vaccinated or not.
“Jeffco’s children have already given up so much in the last year and a half. It’s on all of us to help make sure they don’t lose any more by missing out on in-person learning and beloved school-based extracurriculars because of illness, quarantines or outbreaks,” Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director at JCPH said.
“We all have a role to play in keeping our community and our community’s kids safe. If you haven’t already, get vaccinated now. If you’re in a school setting – regardless of if you’re a student, teacher, staff member or parent – we strongly urge you to wear a mask at all times. In-person educational activities must be emphasized, prioritized, and protected; they are simply too important to our children to allow them to be endangered.”
As the delta variant continues to spread and COVID-19 cases increase, several Metro Denver counties are implementing the new suggestion for everyone in crowded indoor settings to mask up. JCPH encourages anyone who has not been vaccinated to do so.
According to JCPH, about 45% of kids ages 12-15 and about 40% of people ages 16-24 have not been vaccinated.
Jefferson County Public Schools said it is requiring masks for students ages 3 to 11 (generally Pre-K through sixth grade) in all schools while indoors. Masks are recommended for fully vaccinated students ages 12 and up, but not required. Unvaccinated students over 11 years old are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.
JCPH indicated they will require quarantines for classroom exposure for anyone unvaccinated and not wearing a mask.
JCPH urges parents and students to educate themselves about the delta variant and to take precautions when they begin the new school year. Here are the list of suggestions:
- Ask your district or school leaders for COVID-19 vaccination rates among students and faculty/staff at your school
- Encourage your district or school leaders to prioritize in-person education over school-based extracurricular activities
- Review the newly released back-to-school guidance from CDC and school and childcare guidance from JCPH
A town hall via phone call with officials from JCPH, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and more called “Heading Back to School with COVID-19: Guidance for Parents & Caregivers” is being held on Aug. 12, from 6-8 p.m. Community members can submit questions in advance by visiting: https://www.jeffco.us/4039/Community-Conversations.