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New Denver public health order requires masks in schools, child care facilities starting Wednesday

DPS was already requiring masks in schools; city requiring teachers to get vaccinated
kids masks classroom school children
Posted at 4:21 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 18:27:37-04

DENVER – A new public health order goes into effect in Denver Wednesday that will require all people to wear masks at all schools and child care facilities if they are age 2 or older.

The order applies whether or not a person is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and at both public and private schools and child care facilities.

There will be exceptions made for people who are deaf or hard of hearing in certain cases, if a person needs to show their face for identification purposes, and for people in public safety, the city said.

“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,” said Bob McDonald, the executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. “Requiring face coverings in schools and child care facilities will protect against the spread of the highly contagious delta variant and will help maintain in person learning this school year.”

The city says the public health order will stay in effect indefinitely and will be updated based on case and vaccine rates.

The city is still sticking with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that people wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status, but is not requiring them for the time being.

The city announced at the beginning of the month it would require all city employees, school staff, staff at child care centers and others in congregate care settings to be fully vaccinated by the end of September.

Denver Public Schools is also requiring masks in schools for all students, staff and visitors, the district announced Aug. 3 after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommended students and staff continue wearing masks this fall in school.