The DPS said it will still need masks on school buses despite the CDC saying masks are no longer required on public school transportation.
DENVER — Face masks are no longer required at Denver Public Schools (DPS) starting Monday.
According to new DPS guidelines, masks will no longer be required on Monday, February 28, but will be strongly recommended for all DPS students, staff, and visitors.
The DPS updated its masking guidelines on Feb. 9 after the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) announced that its public health order requiring masks in schools would expire at the end of day on Friday, February 25.
The DPS said its health partners made the decision to mask based on high rates of immunity and lower rates of serious illness.
“We are very grateful to our community for their partnership in following the advice of our health partners throughout the pandemic,” said DPS Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero. “We continue to work closely with the DDPHE and Denver Health and be guided by their expertise. And we will continue to strongly encourage the use of masks in our schools. This decision by the DDPHE to end the order to public health on February 25 is based on high rates of immunity in our community and lower rates of serious illness.”
RELATED: CDC relaxes mask guidelines for more than 70% of Americans
Most Americans now live in places where healthy people, including school students, can safely take a break from wearing masks under new US guidelines released Friday.
The CDC said masks are no longer required on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems. This includes early childhood care and child care programs.
However, the DPS said it will still require masks on board public transportation to comply with federal law.
The DPS said that from Monday visitors, volunteers and families are allowed in schools and school buildings. Sporting events, student performances, competitions, and school events (such as graduations and school dances) may operate at full capacity, as permitted by the size of the venue, and without other health-related restrictions .
Student meal times will also resume normal operations and all in-person meetings can return to full capacity, and virtual platforms can continue to be used for meetings as appropriate.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlined the new set of measures for communities where COVID-19 is loosening its grip, with less focus on positive test results and more on what’s happening in hospitals .
The new system dramatically changes the look of the CDC’s risk map and places more than 70% of the U.S. population in counties where the coronavirus poses a low or medium threat to hospitals.
“Coming out of Omicron, we’re now in a different phase of the pandemic,” said Dr. Steven Federico, director of pediatrics for Denver Health and the district’s close partner on its COVID response team. “The focus must be on vaccination, including boosters for adolescents and adults, as well as staying home and getting tested when we are sick. Lifting this mandate does not mean that individuals should not or cannot mask themselves.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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