This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More at chalkbeat.org.
Colorado public health officials have adopted CDC recommendations that everyone in school settings should wear masks, especially those who are not vaccinated.
However, school districts will still set their own mask policies, and the state isn’t requiring masks for anyone.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released its updated school guidance late Friday evening, three days after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed their own recommendations.
The state’s previous guidance recommended but did not require masks for unvaccinated people in school settings.
“We all want children to be back at school and as safe as possible. Masks will help us slow the spread of the delta variant and avoid school closures,” State Epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said in a press release announcing the shift. “Masks are an added layer of protection, as we hope that even more children ages 12+ will get vaccinated.”
Already, districts around the state have adopted a range of approaches, from making masks optional to requiring them only for the unvaccinated to requiring them for everyone in school buildings.