The Pueblo County School District 70 Education Board is asking the Pueblo County Board of Health to remove its county-wide mask mandate in K-12 schools.
The D70 board made the request in a letter to the board of health on December 10.
The mandate in question has been in effect since August 30 and requires people aged two or more to wear masks in indoor schools, daycares and camps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to the order. public health.
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Several exemptions from the current mask mandate, including exemptions for those who are unable to medically tolerate a mask, are outlined in the order.
“These measures never had a clear end in sight, and this puts undue pressure on the learning system,” the letter from D70 states. “As a community, we are tired of being forced to adhere to mandates that do not prove to be effective. [sic] over the desperation they cause to students and our community. “
Contrary to the letter’s claim, wearing the mask has been shown to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-COV-2, including alpha and delta variants, in adults and children,” according to the CDC. “The prevention benefits of masking come from the combination of source control and wearer protection. “
In addition to opposing school mask warrants, the letter sent by Pueblo District 70 opposes school vaccine warrants. Currently, there is no vaccination mandate for K-12 schools in Pueblo County, according to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
“There has been segregation of unvaccinated and vaccinated children in carrying out these mandates, but there has been no consideration for students with natural immunity,” the D70 board said in its statement. letter. “As natural immunity to a virus is proven to be more affective [sic] than vaccination, these are factors that must be taken into account when considering immunity. “
Vaccination offers significantly higher protection against COVID-19 than immunity acquired from a previous infection with COVID-19, according to recent CDC studies.
A CDC study compiled in August to measure COVID-19 infections in Kentucky in people previously infected with the SARS-COV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 showed that unvaccinated individuals “are more than twice more likely to be re-infected with COVID-19 than those who have been fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus. “
According to the CDC, re-infection of COVID-19 within 90 days of the initial infection is rare. However, the CDC recommends that those eligible for the vaccine get vaccinated to avoid risking hospitalization or death from COVID-19.
“Vaccine efficacy studies provide a growing body of evidence that COVID-19 mRNA offers similar protections in real-world conditions to those in clinical trials, reducing the risk of COVID-19, including severe disease of 90% or more in people who are fully vaccinated, ”according to the CDC.
The five members of the Pueblo District 70 Board of Directors signed the letter sent to the Pueblo County Board of Health. Board members were sworn in on December 3 at a special meeting. Anne Ochs has been appointed Chair of the Board of Directors and AJ Wilson has been appointed Vice Chair.
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John Christensen, Christopher DeLuca and Cathleen Culhane Howland are the other three newly elected directors.
No director of the previous board was re-elected in the November 2 election. Former directors Paulette Frye, Fredrick Quintana and Staphanie Cordova-Catalano were defeated by Wilson, Ochs and Culhane Howland respectively. Former board chairman Mark Emery and former vice chairman Debbie Houghton did not stand for re-election.
Pueblo Chieftain reporter James Bartolo can be reached by email at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: Pueblo D70 Calls on Pueblo Board of Health to Remove School Mask Mandate