BVSD and SVVSD mask mandate lifting Feb. 18

It was officially decided in a meeting on Feb. 14 that BVSD and SVVSD schools and school districts will have masks optional indoors with individualized mandates for businesses


Jamie Hedlun

Boulder County Public Health encouraged schools and child care facilities to enact individualized mask policies for their specific environments to best combat COVID-19 spread.

Following a unanimous vote by members of the Boulder County Board of Health late Monday evening, St. Vrain Valley and Boulder Valley district schools will be lifting their required mask mandates for students and staff starting on Friday, Feb. 18 after 5 p.m.

This applies to K-12 schools in both of the districts as well as private businesses. Individualized guidelines can be set for private businesses and charter schools.

Face coverings are still recommended by several public health officials and can be worn by anyone who prefers to. It is entirely optional.

In the Boulder County Board of Health meeting, some argued that mask mandates in child care and younger schooling environments have declined mental health and interrupted learning processes.

For this reason and others, masks will no longer be required for in-person schooling, athletics, and school-related activities and clubs. They will be required for students riding BVSD or SVVSD district buses due to federal mandates related to face coverings on public transportation.

There will be accommodations, as stated by SVVSD superintendent Don Haddad in an email sent out Feb. 15.

“Accommodations for any students on an IEP or 504 plan will be made in alignment with state and federal laws, and individual IEPS and 504 plans,” he said.

Following in Denver, Broomfield, and other mountain counties’ footsteps, the mask mandate was dropped and new guidelines will be implemented quickly. On Feb. 5, a charter school in Erie also voted to remove their mask requirements.

Quarantine procedures set by the Colorado health department were recently eased for schools, as many know. Exposures taking place in schools no longer result in required quarantines, which was intended to “help schools, parents, and teachers continue in-person learning with fewer disruptions” according to state epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy.

Coupled with these loosened quarantine procedures, lifted mask mandates, some believe, will create a learning environment more comfortable and successful for students. Others, however, feel differently, as the community COVID-19 trend could increase.