To protect children/student health and support continued in-person learning in schools and childcare settings, the Pitkin County Board of Health approved yesterday, August 12, 2021, to require mask wearing for all individuals two years of age and older regardless of vaccination status while indoors in any school or childcare setting. The decision to require universal masking supports the growth and engagement of students through in-person learning in school and childcare settings, while also taking into consideration the current reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pitkin County Public Health is committed to continuing to work with schools and partners to ensure the well-being and continued growth and learning of students in our community.
Effective August 18, 2021, masks will be required for all individuals two years of age and older regardless of vaccination status in the following situations:
- While indoors in any preschool through grade 12 school building anywhere in Pitkin County; this includes classrooms, hallways and common areas
- While indoors at any childcare center or childcare facility, regardless of licensing status
- While indoors and participating in a youth camp, youth extracurricular activity, youth gym activities, and youth sport. This requirement applies to all participants, attendees, spectators, staff, volunteers, and coaches
- Masks are not required while students and staff are interacting outdoors.
This is a good time to assess your mask quality and supply. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools and child care facilities, you’ll want both a good fit and a high-quality mask. To review the best mask usage methods, revisit our Double-Up on Masks blog.
It is still encouraged that all individuals who are eligible get vaccinated, as this is the best way to keep our community members healthy and maintain in-person learning.
Beyond masking and vaccination, there are a number of additional measures that schools are taking to prevent the spread of disease, including:
- Routine cleaning
- Increased airflow and ventilation
- Hand washing
- Physical distancing when unmasked
- Encouraging individuals to stay home when sick
- Contact tracing after exposure
- Targeted quarantining
- Limiting high-risk activities
The goals of Pitkin County Public Health continues to be to keep kids and staff in school to the greatest extent possible, prevent transmission of COVID-19 within the school and childcare settings, and create a learning environment where everyone feels both emotionally and physically safe. To help us achieve these goals, we encourage the community to get vaccinated, wear masks in appropriate settings, and to follow the healthy best practices. We must continue to work together to keep our students, children and community safe.