Here's why Pueblo school districts decided to keep COVID-19 protocols in place

Joe McQueen
The Pueblo Chieftain

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced May 13 that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks or social distance in both indoor and outdoor settings, school districts in Pueblo announced that COVID-19 protocols will stay in place in schools for the remainder of the year.

The CDC announced May 15 that it recommends schools should keep current COVID-19 prevention strategies in place for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year.

"They recommended masks be worn by all students and that's where we ended up with our statement (Sunday)," Todd Seip, public information officer at Pueblo County School District 70, said.

Students will still be required to wear masks inside school buildings. D70 and Pueblo School District 60 will allow students to take their masks off outside school buildings.

"Keeping our protocols in place through the end of this school year will allow us to limit and minimize any state-mandated quarantines that would prevent large groups of students or classrooms from finishing this school year in person and impact end of year activities," D70 Superintendent Ed Smith said in a press release.

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For D60, the district said in an email that "although the CDC has altered guidance concerning mask wearing for vaccinated individuals, staff and students in D60 will still be required to wear masks at this time."

"We will be in communication with the health department, and we will provide an update in regard to our district mask wearing protocols if, and when, a change is made," D60 continued.

D70 plans to meet with local health officials on June 7 to discuss potential changes to COVID-19 protocols before summer programs begin.

D60 meets weekly with the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment to discuss protocols and any changes made to them.

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Chieftain Education Reporter Joe McQueen can be reached at jmcqueen@gannett.com or on Twitter @jmcqueennews