By Jennifer McRae

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Aurora Public Schools is requiring that all students in child development centers, elementary and PreK/K-8 schools wear masks while indoors. The school district made the announcement on Friday evening.

(credit: CBS)

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Aurora Public Schools issued the mask mandate after Tri-County Health Department advised the district that “circumstances have changed over the past few weeks and that disruption to our in-person learning environment has become increasingly likely if APS does not add an additional mitigation layer to our layered approach. The choices are to either add a stricter mask mandate focused on students who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated or to implement strict quarantines for close contacts.”

In addition to all students in child development centers, elementary and PreK/K-8 schools wearing masks at school, masks will be strongly encouraged for all students at middle and high schools. All unvaccinated staff at APS are also required to wear masks while vaccinated staff are strongly encouraged to wear masks.

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APS said they made the decision based on maintaining strong in-person learning environments as much as possible. They also stated that they encourage everyone ages 12 and up to get vaccinated.

Aurora Public Schools follows other school district around Colorado requiring masks in some capacity; Denver Public Schools announced mandatory masks for all students and staff while inside buildings, regardless of age or vaccination status. Jeffco Public Schools announced a similar mask policy for students ages 3-11.

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Masks are required on school buses and a federal CDC requirement mandates face masks on all public transportation and transportation hubs.

Jennifer McRae