Jefferson County Public Health relaxes COVID-19 rules for school children

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) has changed a public health order and is now requiring everyone age 3 and older — instead of 2 and older — to wear a mask when indoors at school, childcare settings and extracurricular activities.

JCPH announced Saturday the regulation also no longer requires social distancing of at least 6 feet when masks are removed at meal times or when playing instruments indoors. Instead, JCPH recommends a 3-foot distance.

“Last week we hosted a town hall with more than 60 childcare owners and operators in the county and received feedback on JCPH’s Public Health Order pertaining to schools and childcares. We heard the most common challenges with implementing the Order were masking among 2 year-olds, as well as the inability to maintain six-feet distance when children are unmasked during meal times due to lack of space in many smaller facilities,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director, JCPH, in a media statement.

“While JCPH’s original Order follows guidance from CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Colorado regarding appropriate ages for use of face coverings, we listened to those in our community who work with young children every day and have modified the age for required masking from age 2 and older to age 3 and older. Additionally, we’ve modified our Order to strongly recommend at least 3 ft. distancing when unmasked for meal times,” Comstock continued.

In summary, the amended public health order now requires:

  • Masks for all individuals age 3+ indoors in all schools, childcares and school-based and school-sponsored extracurricular activities
  • By Sept. 7, implement a COVID-19 testing policy requiring all unvaccinated faculty and staff to be tested weekly throughout the school year
  • By Sept. 7, implement a COVID-19 testing policy requiring all unvaccinated students and adults participating in school-based and school-sponsored extracurricular activities to be tested weekly
  • Post signage that masks are required at their facilities
  • Enforcement of quarantine for individuals who are unvaccinated and unmasked when exposed to an individual case, and enforcement of quarantine for all unvaccinated individuals — masked and unmasked — who are exposed in outbreaks
  • Enforcement of isolation for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19
  • Cooperation in case investigations and contact tracing, including reporting cases and outbreaks to JCPH

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