By Karen Morfitt

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– On Sept. 1, Tri-County Health Department issued a mask mandate for schools. It requires all individuals ages two and older to wear face coverings in schools and child care settings.

(credit: CBS)

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After more than a month they’re starting to receive complaints and will begin enforcing the requirements, starting with the Deer Trail School District. Parents in that district are asking why no one is enforcing the mandate there.

“There’s been enough scientists and doctors and public health organizations that have told us this is a good thing,” one family, who asked to remain anonymous, told CBS4.

Despite the now county-wide mandate, district leaders will not enforce mask wearing.

The superintendent, pictured on the front page of the town newspaper in school with students without a mask, placed under a separate headline about rising cases in that part of the state.

“When it’s coming down from the leadership, from the school, that it’s not an issue, then it’s just not going to be enforced,” the family said.

In early October, more than a month after the mandate was put in place, parents received a notice from the superintendent alerting them of COVID-19 positive cases at the school.

(credit: CBS)

In it, they blatantly disregard the mandate requirements, “If you would like your child to wear a mask because of the TCHD mandate please consider having your child wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.”

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It never informs families that masks are in fact required.

Tri-County Health Department official Mellissa Sager says two things will prompt an investigation: a large number of complaints or examples provided to them of egregious and apparent disregard for the mandate.

“Something like a school has sent a communication to the school community that says masks aren’t required,” she said.

Their first step will be to work with the district to get into compliance, but Sager acknowledges that many educators are facing their own struggles enforcing COVID-19 mandates.

“They have different experiences in their communities and face different push back and are trying to deal with it in their own way, so we are reaching out to have that conversation with them first.”

Knowing that someone is stepping in brings a sense of relief to the family CBS4 spoke with, but it comes just days too late. Their youngest, not able to be vaccinated, is now positive with COVID-19.

(credit: CBS)

“We have been told that these are the best tools at our disposal to prevent it… and that’s the whole deal we are trying to prevent it.”

CBS4 reached out to the superintendent by email and via phone at his office and at home. CBS4 also reached out to every member of the school board for a response and have not heard back.

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The Tri-County Health Department says the call to that district was scheduled for Friday and they expect to see a new notification sent to parents following that call.

Karen Morfitt