Open Public Schools Safely in Mesa County

Open Public Schools Safely in Mesa County

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Supporters for Open and Safe Schools started this petition to School District 51

As Supporters for Open & Safe Schools (SOS), we are concerned about the current 2021-22 Keeping Schools Open Plan and associated Back to School protocols. Though School District 51 (D51) references CDC, CDPHE, AAP, US DoEd, and CDoEd guidance, their plan does not align with the unanimous recommendation of masking either universally or for all unvaccinated individuals (1-5). Due to Mesa County's low rate of vaccination, it's imperative that our 5-11 year-old children wear masks to avoid contracting COVID and/or becoming asymptomatic carriers to our high-risk, vulnerable, and unvaccinated populations in our area. The D51 plan is not sufficient to keep our children and the surrounding community safe from COVID outbreaks and school closures. 

We believe our children's health and safety is paramount. As such, we are petitioning D51 to align with and abide by the national and state agency guidelines which D51 references for health and safety protocols in regard to COVID-19 for the 2021-22 school year which include:

- promoting vaccination of students and staff
- universal face masks for students, staff, and visitors entering any School District 51 school building until vaccines become accessible to school-aged children
- daily disinfection of facilities
- adequate ventilation for every School District 51 indoor learning space
- frequent hand washing
- cohorting
- physical distancing

We are responsible for one another. You can help keep our kids and community safe. Please join us by signing and sharing this petition.

1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) "Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated."

2)  Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) "When schools and/or their communities have low vaccination rates and are experiencing high rates of community transmission (defined as 35 cases per 100,000 people over seven days), the local public health agency should work with schools and school districts to institute higher precautionary measures, such as masking..." (Note: Mesa County COVID positivity rate as of July 25, 2021 is 150.4 cases per 100,000 people over seven days:

3) American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) "All students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use)."

4) US Department of Education (US DoEd) "The CDC K-12 Operational Strategy emphasizes the importance of using a combination of layered prevention strategies to avoid COVID-19 transmission in schools, including universal and correct wearing of masks..."

5) Colorado Department of Education (CDoEd) "Protection efforts applied collectively (for example social distancing AND masking AND cohorting) will provide stronger protection than any one effort in isolation as it will reduce the transmission of disease and minimize the disruption to in-person learning."

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