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A Colorado county is requiring masks for everyone 2 and older in schools along with regular testing for some

Masks will be required in schools for a Colorado County starting Aug. 17.
Masks will be required in schools for a Colorado County starting Aug. 17.(Jefferson County Public Health)
Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 7:12 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:08 AM MDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Jefferson County Public Health announced a Public Health Order on Monday that will require masks for everyone ages 2 and older in schools.

The order goes into effect on Tuesday and includes school-based extracurricular activities as well as all childcare settings in Jefferson County.

“Additionally, the order requires all unvaccinated faculty and staff, as well as all unvaccinated students and adults who are participating in school-based extracurricular activities, to undergo routine testing during the academic year,” part of a news release from JCPH reads. “The purpose of the order is to protect health and preserve in-person learning in the county.”

The public health order comes after there were 535 new cases of COVID-19 in the county from Aug. 2-8, compared to 110 new cases from July 2-8.

“Over the past few weeks, we have seen schools that do not require masking in other parts of the country be required to send large numbers of students home to quarantine and even close schools. While our department released very strong guidance to Jeffco schools and childcare settings recommending they require mask-wearing, unfortunately too few schools and childcares have adopted this safe and effective mitigation strategy,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, executive director, JCPH. “Due to the highly transmissible Delta variant now driving a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our county, coupled with insufficient vaccination coverage in schoolchildren, we must act now to prevent unnecessary illness and help protect in-person learning and educational experiences as much as possible. Despite heroic efforts by Jeffco teachers and schools to offer remote learning, last year far too many students struggled with academic achievement, social development and mental wellness. The goal shared by Jeffco parents, school leaders and public health leaders is to protect in-person learning.”

There are exceptions which include:

a. Individuals who are hearing impaired or otherwise disabled or who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication.

b. Individuals seated during meal and snack time and who are actively eating or drinking. However, individuals must be seated at least six (6) feet apart during meal and snack time or these activities must occur outdoors.

c. Individuals who are asked to temporarily remove their Face Covering for identification purposes in furtherance of a particular service requiring legal identification.

d. Individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role, such as law enforcement personnel, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel.

e. Individuals who are receiving a medical service where the temporary removal of a Face Covering is necessary to perform the service.

f. Individuals who are in a swimming pool and actively engaged in a pool activity in which their Face Covering might become wet.

g. When a student in a School Setting for academic credit is actively playing an instrument that cannot otherwise be played while wearing a Face Covering and such student is at least six (6) feet from all other individuals in the room.

h. Individuals who are actively napping or resting pursuant to state licensing requirements.

i. Individuals who are alone in an enclosed room.

j. Individuals who are officiating or participating in a religious service or practice where the temporary removal of a Face Covering is necessary to complete or participate in the religious service or practice

Click here to read the public health order.

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