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Pueblo expands indoor mask mandate in schools

Will now include childcare centers and pre-k
Mask mandate extended as El Paso County trends in right direction
Posted at 2:53 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 16:59:28-04

PUEBLO — On Friday, August 27, the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment issued a public health order that expands the school indoor mask mandate to childcare centers, youth camps, and pre-k programs within Pueblo County.

Earlier this week the health department issued an indoor mask mandate for all public and private schools, but the original order excluded child care centers and pre-k.

The new order is effective August 30, 2021.

The Pueblo County Board of Health says they are doing this due to the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in Pueblo, local transmission rates, the delta variant, low compliance with the recommendation for indoor mask-wearing, low vaccination rates in eligible students, and children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Pueblo County’s current COVID-19 data:

  • 124.9 One-Week Cumulative Incidence Rate
  • 3.9% One-Week Average Positivity Rate

The health department says they will review the order when there is a two-week downward trend of cases. This means, no more than 50 cases/ 100,000 in the previous seven days and a downward trend of average percent positivity with no more than 3% average positivity in the previous seven days.

The following individuals are exempt from the Face Covering requirements in this order:

  • Individuals under age 2.
  • Individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.
  • Individuals who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (42 U.S.C 12101 et. Seq.).
  • Individuals for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by the US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
  • Individuals who are hearing impaired or otherwise disabled or who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication and a clear Face Covering is not available.
  • Individuals who are actively eating or drinking during meals or snack time.
  • Individuals who are asked to temporarily remove their face covering for identification purposes in furtherance of a service requiring legal identification.
  • Individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role, such as law enforcement personnel, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel.
  • Individuals who are receiving a personal or medical service where the temporary removal of a face covering is necessary to perform the service.
  • Individuals who are in a swimming pool and actively engaged in a pool activity in which their face covering might become wet.
  • Individuals participating in certain high-intensity activities when breathing becomes difficult.
  • When a student in a classroom setting for academic credit at a PK-12 school is actively playing an instrument that cannot otherwise be played while wearing a face covering and the instrument has a bell cover.
  • Individuals who are actively napping or resting pursuant to state licensing requirements.
  • Individuals who are alone in an enclosed room.

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