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Two students working hard while wearing masks in a Boulder County school.

Mask Mandates In Boulder County and How They Affect Students

Masks are a sensitive topic around America and are affecting Colorado residents especially hard. The wide mix of views on masks and general COVID precautions range and is an issue among counties in the front range and Denver. Boulder County is the first county to enforce mask mandates while larger counties like Weld and Larimer don’t have any mask requirements.

25 of 30 of the largest counties in Colorado have all instated a mask mandate for teachers and students. While most school districts enforce wearing masks some counties believe it is unnecessary, “When students returned to school in the Greeley-Evans district north of Denver, masks were recommended — but not required — for unvaccinated students and staff,” said Erica Meltzer in her article on Chalkbeat Colorado.

Colorado residents have been divided about the county by county mask mandates, “I think masks help more than harm people. I can breathe just fine and really don’t mind wearing one,” said Peggy Senkow, a retired nurse in Weld County. There are many people on both sides of the mask argument in all counties, in favor and against.

Colorado residents that are under 18 now account for one quarter of all COVID cases, but only 10-20 are currently seriously ill from the virus. Of the 10 largest Colorado Counties, Weld, El Paso, and Larimer county lead cases in children aged 6-17 with between 40-60 cases per 100,000 kids. Medical professionals think that masks in schools should be mandatory, “I think there is a lot of evidence that shows masks help. We need to protect our children, wearing a mask is a very easy step to do so,” said a local teacher, who doesn’t want to be named.

As vaccines are becoming much more available, Denver Public Schools are requiring all staff to get vaccinated. As of October 1st, 2021, 87% of the staff have been vaccinated and more to come. Staff that are eligible that don’t are subject to fines of up to $5,000 if they don’t take the vaccine by January 2nd as they will have many warnings.

There are some Colorado residents that don’t believe this vaccine should be mandated for staff, as well as masks for students. Counties in Colorado are responsible for managing mask mandates and vaccine mandates. Some counties like Denver and Boulder are taking a more cautious approach, while others are giving their residents more room to breathe.

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