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Gunnison Watershed School District announces mask mandate

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 9:41 PM MDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2021 at 10:52 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Tuesday, the Gunnison Watershed School District announced a mask mandate when indoors for all students and staff in the district effective immediately.

Up until now, Gunnison Watershed School District has been under a voluntary mask enforcement as well as daily temperature checks & physical distancing.

The mandate came after a growing number of students and staff tested positive since classes began, as an effort to slow cases & keep students in school. It was voted on by the school board on the 13th after the superintendent’s recommendation, and in partnership with Gunnison County public health.

”We did see an increase in absences & issues around COVID the third week & ended up with 22 positive cases during our third week of school,” said Gunnison Watershed School District Superintendent Leslie Nichols. “And felt that indicated a strong need to go ahead & move to a mask mandate.”

But not everyone is happy about the mandate. A number of parents have protested the mandate saying it violates their family’s choice.

”We feel like we’ve been put into a party or a box as either or,” said parent Melissa Stewart. “And where I’m coming from as a parent is that we can have both. And we can have the choice to wear a mask or not. But also not negate.”

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