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Colorado back-to-school guidance suggests masks for unvaccinated kids — but no mandate

Colorado released its back-to-school COVID health guidelines on Tuesday, largely aligning with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations, including that unvaccinated children two and up wear masks.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment executive director Jill Hunsaker Ryan said in a statement that the state wants “to make sure that schools remain a safe place, and this plan outlines ways to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19 in the school setting, while facilitating in-person learning.”

CDPHE was careful to add in the release that these are not “statewide requirements,” only “evidence-based best practices for local governments and schools.”

When it comes to masking, the state wrote that “the CDC recommends mask-wearing for all unvaccinated individuals age two and older indoors,” and suggested local public health agencies and school districts “consider mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals, particularly in higher-risk environments.”

“Schools and school districts should ensure that every classroom is a welcome environment for students and staff who choose to protect themselves in this manner,” it said.

Colorado’s vaccination rate among teenagers is higher than the national rate, but the state is seeing fewer COVID-19 immunizations overall. Several Colorado school districts told The Post recently they will encourage students to get inoculated against the virus, but stopped short of mandating the shots for the upcoming academic year.

“Our data demonstrate a clear association between Colorado’s increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates and decreasing case, hospitalization, and death rates,” CDPHE epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said in the state’s news release, adding that the delta variant “appears to be more likely to make young people ill than previous variants.”

While the state’s guidance does not mandate vaccines for those who are eligible, it does say “acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be the same as all other school-required vaccines,” and notes that schools can look at a student’s vaccination status through the Colorado Immunization Information System without obtaining written consent.

The main things the state believes schools should take the following precautions: masking, physical distancing, COVID testing, contact tracing, “targeted quarantining,” and limiting high-risk activities.

dp news breaking?d=yIl2AUoC8zA - Colorado back-to-school guidance suggests masks for unvaccinated kids — but no mandate dp news breaking?d=dnMXMwOfBR0 - Colorado back-to-school guidance suggests masks for unvaccinated kids — but no mandate dp news breaking?d=7Q72WNTAKBA - Colorado back-to-school guidance suggests masks for unvaccinated kids — but no mandate dp news breaking?i=tVCnIPZm7OY:CwELgcncBNU:V sGLiPBpWU - Colorado back-to-school guidance suggests masks for unvaccinated kids — but no mandate dp news breaking?d=qj6IDK7rITs - Colorado back-to-school guidance suggests masks for unvaccinated kids — but no mandate

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