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What the CDC’s new mask guidance means for Mesa County

Mesa County Public Health is encouraging caution as the Delta variant spreads in the county
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 8:41 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance for mask-wearing in K-12 schools. The agency is saying that unvaccinated students two years old and up should wear masks indoors. The CDC is also recommending three feet of distance between students in classrooms.

According to Mesa County Valley School District 51, their policies regarding masks and other COVID-19 protocols for the upcoming school year have not changed at this time. The district explained that administrators are reviewing policies, however, in response to the CDC’s updated guidance.

As previously reported, District 51 currently is not requiring masks for students and teachers, regardless of vaccination status. The district released its plan for the upcoming school year on July 16. That framework also includes five days of in-person instruction per week.

Mesa County Public Health was able to provide information on what the CDC’s new guidance means for Mesa County more broadly. According to the health department, “There are no plans for a mask mandate in our county.” The department continues to encourage mask-wearing for individuals not fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. For even those vaccinated, the MCPH is stressing, “With the presence of the Delta variant in our community, [we] continue to urge all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to take precautions in high-risk settings, such as indoors or when interacting with groups where vaccination status may be unknown.” These recommendations, according to MCPH, work best “When used appropriately and in accordance with individual needs.”

In addition to vaccination, other steps the health department is encouraging the public to adopt are washing hands, staying home when not feeling well, and proper cleaning and ventilation.

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