Dear DPS Community:
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work to have the necessary health and safety precautions in place for the new school year. As you may be aware, Mayor Michael Hancock and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) today announced a public health order that includes new requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations.
The health order applies to all city employees and employees working in certain designated industries, such as schools, child care, hospitals, and many more. This includes both public and private education agencies. It calls for all employees in these fields to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30. The vaccine requirement applies to all DPS employees, all charter school employees, contractors, and community members who volunteer in schools. There will be exemptions for medical or religious reasons.
We are in close collaboration with the city to support and implement this new health order, as we work together toward taking the necessary measures to ensure the safest and healthiest conditions in all of our schools and buildings for our children, staff, and families.
We will have more information and guidance to share with you on our comprehensive health procedures and requirements — including masks — in the coming days.
As we have from the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to encourage all eligible individuals to consider becoming vaccinated. Based on the most recent CDC data, our partners at Denver Health have assured us that getting vaccinated is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you. The COVID-19 vaccinations provide more protection than any other public-health strategy. There have been 346 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered across the US, with more than 50% of the US population fully vaccinated. In Colorado, approximately 70% of the adult population has been vaccinated, as well as roughly 60% of teens in Denver. (The vaccine is not yet approved for those under the age of 12.) Information on the safety of the vaccine can be found at CDC.gov.
We will work with every single one of our team members to make sure they have the support they need to meet the requirements of this new public-health order.
In partnership with the city, our comprehensive approach to health and safety makes us stronger and helps to ensure the best conditions for a full year of in-person learning and support for our scholars.
Again, thank you again for your support and understanding, and thank you for being a part of the DPS community.
Dr. Alex Marrero