DPS Mask Mandate Feb. 2022

Posted 02/05/2022
February 4, 2022
Reminder about City’s School-Mask Order
With the city’s mask mandate for indoor businesses expiring today, we wanted to provide an update on masking in schools.
There continues to be a standing Public Health Order from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) that requires all individuals ages 2 and older to wear a mask while in an indoor school setting. Denver Public Schools will abide by that order as long as it is in place. At the current time, quarantines are still required when a student has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID. Masking allows our students to be exempt from quarantines, which helps maximize in-person learning and support.
As we have since the start of the pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our students and staff and following the guidance of our partners at DDPHE and Denver Health. We remain in close collaboration with these trusted and valued partners, and we will share updates on the city’s school-masking order as soon any new information is available:
February 18, 2022
Updates to Our Mask Requirements and Other Guidelines
Dear Team DPS,
As we shared last week, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) has announced that its order requiring masks in all schools and childcare facilities will expire at the end of the day on Friday, Feb. 25. This applies to all ECE classrooms as well.
We have continued to work closely with the experts at DDPHE and Denver Health to get more information about how the changes to the mask requirement will apply to different situations. Today, we’d like to share some updated guidance with you that will go into effect after the mandate expires:
ECE: Based on guidance from local health experts, the mask requirement for ECE classrooms will also expire at the end of the day on Friday, Feb. 25. Based on public health guidance, it is possible that some ECE classrooms may have 10 day isolation and quarantine periods. More information will be shared with ECE families later today.
Bus transportation: Masks are still required for all drivers, paraprofessionals, and riders on district transportation. Our transportation team will have masks for students who need them.
Isolation and quarantine guidelines: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) shared new school guidelines that will go into effect on Monday, Feb. 28:
  • Isolate for 5 days: If you test positive for COVID-19, if you have symptoms and are waiting for test results, or if you have symptoms and have not yet been tested. If at the end of 5 days you are feeling better and have no fever (without fever-reducing medicine) for 24 hours, you should take extra precautions for 5 more days, such as wearing a mask at all times and avoiding travel.
  • Isolate for 10 days: If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are unable to wear a mask while in school during days 6-10 (such as people with disabilities who are unable to wear a mask or children under age 2) you should isolate for 10 days after an exposure, even if your symptoms have resolved before day 10.
  • Quarantine for 5 days: If you have been directly exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual AND you are not vaccinated or have not received a booster dose of the vaccine, you should quarantine for 5 days.
  • No quarantine required: If you are fully vaccinated and boosted but have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the date of your exposure, and get tested on day 5.
Please remember that masks are still required in all indoor school settings through Feb. 25. And they will still be strongly encouraged even after the city’s mandate has expired. Please keep up the healthy habits that have seen us through the pandemic thus far: stay home when you’re sick; wash your hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow; meet in locations with good ventilation; and try to keep physical distance whenever possible.
We appreciate your support and flexibility as we move into this new phase of the pandemic together.
February 23, 2022 – Dr. Federico Slides
February 25,  2022
Important Updates to DPS COVID Guidance
Dear DPS Community,
As we continue to work closely with our trusted health partners and navigate the changing health landscape, we wanted to share some reminders and updates about our COVID guidelines.
To start, while today is the last day DPS requires mask-wearing in DPS buildings, masks are still highly encouraged for students, staff and others in our buildings. As a reminder, those using DPS transportation will still be required to wear a mask, per federal guidelines.
Additionally, as we look ahead to the next phase of the pandemic, DPS will move to a disease-control model for COVID-19. These guidelines more closely align our COVID-19 efforts with the public health response strategies used for other infectious diseases in schools, such as the flu. They will go into effect Monday, Feb. 28 (unless otherwise noted).
All updates will be reflected on COVID guidance page on the DPS website, once they go into effect. In the meantime, please review the below for more information about these adjustments.
Guidance for School Events, Visitors and Operations

Visitors, volunteers, and families are permitted at schools and in school buildings.

  • Athletic events, student performances, competitions and school events (such as graduation and school dances) can operate at full capacity, as permitted by the size of the venue, and without further health-related restrictions.
  • Student meal times can resume normal operations.
  • All in-person meetings can return to full capacity, and virtual platforms can continue to be used for meetings as appropriate.
Transportation
In alignment with federal law, masks are required while aboard public transportation, which includes school buses and other district-provided transportation to and from school or events. Transportation retains a supply of disposable masks so that no student will be turned away.
COVID Positive Cases and Reporting 
  • If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID, they are required to report their case by letting their school or supervisor know.
  • If a household member tests positive, individuals who are not vaccinated or up-to-date on the vaccine should quarantine for 5 days following the last day of exposure. All reported cases will appear as active on the DPS COVID Dashboard for 5 days, per CDC guidance.
  • The positive individual is required to stay home and isolate for 5 days past the first day of symptoms (or 5 days past the testing date if they are asymptomatic). They may return on day 6 as long as they are fever-free and feeling mostly better. We ask this individual to continue wearing a mask while indoors during days 6-10 after the first day of symptoms or testing date.
    • If a household member tests positive, individuals who are not vaccinated or up-to-date on the vaccine should quarantine for 5 days following the last day of exposure.
  • All reported cases will appear as active on the DPS COVID Dashboard for 5 days, per CDC guidance.

COVID Contact Tracing and Quarantines

  • Contact tracing and school-dictated quarantines for COVID will no longer be required by DPS. DPS will follow CDPHE’s guidance and defer to the local health department if quarantines are needed.
  • Per CDPHE, if a school experiences an outbreak of COVID, the public health department may implement strategies such as universal masking indoors, physical distancing, testing, contact tracing, and quarantine for close contacts.
  • Those returning to a DPS school or building after being COVID positive are asked to follow CDC and CDPHE guidelines to properly wear a mask for the 6-10 days after an infection.

COVID Vaccinations and Boosters

  • Beginning March 5, the city’s public health order will have ended, COVID vaccines will not be mandated in DPS for visitors and students, and they will no longer be mandated for staff. At that time, new hires will not be required to show proof of vaccination, and boosters will not be required.
  • We strongly encourage all staff, students and families to access COVID vaccines and boosters, including through our Denver Health School-Based Health Centers in schools across the district. Call 303-602-8958 to make an appointment.
Strategies to Stay Healthy
To support these new guidelines while continuing to prioritize each other’s health and safety, we’ve updated our DPS 5. This revised guidance includes:
      • Self-monitor for symptoms of illness, and stay home if you are sick.
      • Masks are still strongly encouraged.
      • Maintain physical distance when possible.
      • Be thoughtful when planning meetings and events.
      • Practice good hygiene.

We understand these steps toward “normal” may come with emotions and questions for many of our families. Please review this FAQ for more answers to questions you may have.

As throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the health landscape and work closely with our health partners to make adjustments as needed. As a DPS community, we will work toward a “new normal” together