By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– The City and County of Denver issued a new Public Health Order on Tuesday that requires face coverings in schools and childcare facilities for all people ages 2 and older. The new requirement for Denver will go into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 18 and remain in place indefinitely.

(credit: Getty Images)

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According to Denver, “Under the new order, all individuals ages 2 and older in Denver must wear a face covering that covers the nose and mouth when indoors at all schools and school-based extracurricular activities regardless of vaccination status. The face covering requirement applies to students, teachers, staff, and visitors at all public and private schools (preschool through grade 12) and childcare facilities. The Public Health Order will remain in effect indefinitely with updates made as needed based on case rates and vaccination rates in Denver.”

Earlier this month Denver issued a Public Health Order requiring personnel in high-risk settings, including schools, to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30.

“While it’s imperative that all eligible people continue to get vaccinated, masks add another layer of protection for children, especially those too young to be vaccinated,” said Bob McDonald, executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, in a statement. “Requiring face coverings in schools and childcare facilities will protect against the spread of the highly contagious delta variant and will help maintain in person learning this school year.”

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From the City and County of Denver:

The following exceptions for mask requirements are in place for certain circumstances:
• People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or otherwise living with a disability where fully observing facial expressions is essential to communication.
• Individuals who must temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes.
• Individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role, such as law enforcement, firefighters or emergency medical personnel.

Denver continued to strongly encourage that all who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised wear a face covering and practice social distancing in all public places. This also is in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.

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A federal requirement for face coverings on public transportation, including public transit networks, airplanes, buses, trains, taxis, Ubers and Lyfts continues, as does a state requirement for face coverings for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff, residents, and visitors in jails, homeless shelters and emergency medical and other healthcare settings.

Jennifer McRae