COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.– District 3 Schools announced today that effective Tuesday, Sept. 3, there will be a four-week indoor mask mandate requirement in all District buildings for all staff, students, visitors, workers, delivery staff and spectators for indoor sports or events regardless of their vaccination status.
The District wrote in a letter to parents, faculty and staff that this decision comes after monitoring the El Paso County COVID-19 data over the past three weeks as well as the El Paso County Public Health Dashboard.
The letter said, “Currently, we have a significant number of students and staff with positive cases which have resulted in hundreds of students and staff quarantined across the district. These numbers include an active outbreak in one of our schools.”
The letter adds that this substitute shortage within the region is making filling various staff positions increasingly difficult.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7th, the District said that there will be a four-week indoor mask requirement in all District buildings, a decision that will be re-evaluated prior to Friday, Oct. 1.
Mask exemptions will be considered for individuals as follows:
- For anyone with a disability who cannot wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask, for disability-specific reasons.
- Children under the age of 2
- Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
- Any staff or student who cannot medically have a face covering and has medical documentation and building approval
The District said that the four-week-long mandate stems from the hope that more individuals within the area will get vaccinated. As vaccination rates rise, the group says that it hopes to be able to re-evaluate the mandate prior to Friday, Oct. 1.
“If an individual school or the district as a whole reaches 70% of fully vaccinated individuals, the need to mask or quarantine is greatly reduced. We are hosting a vaccine clinic in our District at the SA Wilson Center located on 930 Leta Drive. We encourage students 12 years and older, staff, and community members to get vaccinated. Staff and students who are vaccinated no longer have to quarantine,” the letter said.
To learn more about District 3 schools, click here.