Feb 9, 2022 - COVID

Denver lifts face mask mandate for schools and child care facilities

Sophia Koutroulos, 10, front, and 5th graders are reading books at the library of Bromwell Elementary School in Denver, Colorado.
Sophia Koutroulos, 10, front, and 5th graders are reading books at the library of Bromwell Elementary School on Dec. 7, 2021. Photo: Hyoung Chang/Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver Public Schools is preparing to lift its face mask requirement for schools and child care facilities starting Feb. 28.

What to know: The decision, first reported by our education reporting partners at Chalkbeat, comes after Denver officials announced the city's current school mandate would expire at the end of the day Feb. 25.

Yes, but: The school system said in an email to parents that marks are still strongly encouraged.

  • "The lifting of this mandate does not mean that individuals should not or cannot mask," Steven Federico, director of pediatrics for Denver Health, wrote in the email.

Flashback: The citywide indoor mask order expired Friday, but officials said students, teachers and faculty in schools needed to continue to use face coverings.

By the numbers: The city cited a "significant drop" in COVID-19 infection rates and increases in vaccines as the rationale for its decision.

  • In Denver, nearly 80% of people ages 5 and older are vaccinated and 40% have received booster shots, according to city public health officials.

What they're saying: "Based on the current data, and the efforts of our residents, this is a step we can take at this time," Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement. "We are supportive of any additional measures our schools put in place, as needed, to continue in-person learning."

Go deeper ... with our partners at Chalkbeat

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