Denver Public Schools Issues Updated Mask Guidance

Feb. 9, 2022

Denver Department of Public Health & Environment’s Mask Mandate Expires on Friday, Feb. 28; Masks Still Strongly Recommended across DPS

DENVER – DPS is updating its masking guidance, after the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) today announced that its public health order requiring masks in schools will expire at the end of the day on Friday, Feb. 25. Masks are still required in all school settings through that date.

Denver Public Schools (DPS) issued updated guidance on masks that takes effect on Monday, Feb. 28. Beginning on that date, masks will no longer be required but will be strongly recommended for all students, staff, and visitors across DPS.

The district’s health partners made this decision based on high rates of immunity and lower rates of severe disease. The district is in full compliance, across all schools and worksites, with the city’s vaccine mandate. In addition, there is a very high vaccination rate in the community – about 80% of Denver residents ages 5 and older are vaccinated.

“We are so thankful to our community for their partnership in following the guidance of our health partners throughout the pandemic,” said Dr. Alex Marrero, Superintendent of Denver Public Schools. “We continue to work closely with DDPHE and Denver Health and to be guided by their expertise. And we will continue to strongly encourage the use of masks in our schools. This DDPHE decision to end the public health order on Feb. 25 is based on high rates of immunity in our community and lower rates of severe disease.”

“Coming out of Omicron, we’re now at a different phase of the pandemic,” said Dr. Steven Federico, Director of Pediatrics for Denver Health and the district’s close partner on its COVID response team. “The focus moving forward needs to be on vaccination—including boosters for teens and adults, as well staying home and getting tested when we’re sick. The lifting of this mandate does not mean that individuals should not or cannot mask.”

There are ongoing discussions between public officials and the state about changes to quarantine and reporting as rates decline. Denver Public Schools will continue to work closely with health partners, adjusting as needed as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. The school district will provide updated health and safety guidance for meetings, Central Support sites, and athletic events in the coming days.

Find COVID-19 guidance for parents & caregivers here.