NORTHERN COLORADO (KRDO) -- The Tri-County Health Department passed a universal school masking order and rescinded the option to opt-out of public health orders.
Monday, the Board of Health met to discuss the school mask mandate that went into effect on August 24. Adams County and Douglas County originally opted out of the public health order.
However, the Board of Health voted to rescind the policy allowing opt-outs to county-wide public health orders by Boards of County Commissioners. Now, the mask requirement is in place for all schools in Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties, regardless of vaccination status.
The new order requires facial coverings to be worn by all individuals ages two and older in all school and child care settings. This goes into effect on Wednesday, September 1, and is set to last until December 31, 2021, unless amended, extended, or rescinded.
According to TCHD, Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties have high rates of community transmission and are currently in the CDC's "high level of community transmission."
“The most important thing we can do for children’s mental health and well-being is to assure in-person learning and limit interruptions to this in-person learning by keeping children and the classrooms safe,” Dr. John Douglas, TCHD executive director. “We have reached a point where transmission has increased significantly and is putting our communities at risk. We must now take the statutory responsibility and authority given to us by the Colorado Legislature to reduce the spread of communicable diseases and keep our communities safe. The new mask order will help to protect those who cannot get vaccinated and allow children to continue in-person learning.”
To read the full Public Health Order, click here.