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9 District 51 schools implement mask mandates due to rise of COVID-19 positivity rates

Mesa County Valley School District 51 says they will be starting the school year on August 17.
Mesa County Valley School District 51 says they will be starting the school year on August 17.(KKCO/ KJCT)
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:23 AM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - On Friday, nine schools within the Mesa County Valley School District 51 have reinstated mask mandates due to more than 2% of the school’s population testing positive for COVID-19.

According to guidance determined by D51, Mesa County Public Health, and the Keeping Schools Open Task Force, students and staff are required to wear masks once a threshold of 2% of the school’s population tests positive for COVID-19. The mask mandate lasts for 10 calendar days at minimum. The incidence rate must remain below 1% for 5 consecutive calendar days before the mask mandate is lifted.

D51 reports, as of Friday, the following schools are requiring students to wear masks:

  • Chipeta Elementary School
  • Fruitvale Elementary School
  • New Emerson STEAM Elementary School
  • Shelledy Elementary School
  • Tope Elementary School
  • Wingate Elementary School
  • Fruita Middle School
  • Redlands Middle School
  • Central High School

One school affected by the mask mandate sent out a letter to parents, it reads, “Many elementary classes in the district that have experienced a positive COVID-19 case have successfully mitigated the spread of COVID-19 to others by wearing masks for 10 days after a student or staff member’s diagnosis. We hope this action will bring down Fruitvale’s positivity rate and prevent further cases.”

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