Statement from Rob Gould, special education teacher and president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) on The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment’s (DDPHE) decision to lift the Denver Public Schools (DPS) mask mandate:

The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) recently made the decision to lift the mask mandate in Denver Public Schools (DPS). Though the decision was announced today, mask mandates will continue to be in effect until the end of day on Friday, Feb. 25.

Throughout the entirety of the pandemic, DCTA has supported and continues to support decisions and recommendations made by scientists and public health officials. We also remain consistent in our advocacy for maximized health and safety precautions within schools. Along with DPS, we continue to strongly recommend wearing masks in schools even when the mandate is lifted.

Denver educators have fought tirelessly to keep schools open. We’ve experienced significant staffing challenges during the pandemic. We did all that we could to ensure students were supported. We ask DPS to work with our at-risk students and educators to ensure their health needs are addressed and met during this transitionary period. 

We must move forward by doing all that we can to minimize health risks for students and educators. This means we all need to make a personal choice that considers the safety and well-being of others. Local health officials say that we are now in a different phase of the pandemic. They reiterated the importance of getting the COVID vaccine and the booster shot as well as staying home and getting tested if we are sick. We will continue to monitor the COVID situation and will continue to advocate for science-based guidance no matter the situation.