El Paso County Public Health recommends schools don’t reopen until August 17

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. – El Paso County Public Health (EPCPH) is recommending that K-12 in-person learning not begin until August 17, based on increasing COVID-19 cases in the Pikes Peak Region and new hospitalizations.

According to a release sent out by Fountain-Fort Carson School District Eight, by delaying the start date until August 17, it will allow for four full weeks to evaluate the impact of mandatory masks and other mitigation efforts on local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to inform school health and safety strategies better.

“The Superintendents of the Pikes Peak Region appreciate our continued partnership with leaders at El Paso County Public Health. We know that Public health shares our values when it comes to student, staff, and family health and safety. They have worked with us consistently to achieve those goals,” said Peter Hilts, Chief Education Officer for School District 49 and 2020-2021 President of the Pikes Peak Area Superintendents’ Association. “The consensus of regional superintendents is to support the county’s recommendation to delay the start date of in-person schooling in El Paso County until at least August 17, and to consider a staggered start between elementary and secondary schools. We will continue to monitor the situation and collaborate closely with them. We trust our community to respond appropriately and model the safe practices of social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand washing that are necessary for us to safely open schools for in-person learning.”

Academy District 20 and Widefield School District 3  were already set to start the school year on August 17, while Pueblo District 70 Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to start the school year remotely.

This article will be updated when more details become available.

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