Court Decision Regarding Public Health Order

Court Decision Regarding Public Health Order
Posted on 10/26/2021
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October 26, 2021

Dear Douglas County School District Families and Staff,

I am writing with an update regarding the Douglas County School District’s (DCSD’s) legal complaint against the Douglas County Board of Health regarding its recent Public Health Order (“PHO”).

Today, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado granted Douglas County Schools District’s motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, which prevents enforcement of the recent Douglas County Board of Health’s PHO that had allowed any person to exempt themselves from DCSD’s masking requirement. It also would have limited DCSD’s ability to quarantine individuals if needed. The Court concluded that the PHO was substantially likely to cause immediate and irreparable harm to DCSD and its students with disabilities, who are at greater risk of contracting or suffering harm if they contract COVID.

To that end, effective immediately, DCSD’s previous COVID protocols will be enforced in our schools. This means that all students, staff, and visitors in all of DCSD’s PreK-12 schools will be required to wear face coverings, except for students who have documented medical exemptions from wearing a mask by a Colorado-licensed medical provider. In addition, DCSD will reinstitute the quarantine practices set in place before the PHO was issued.

Our goal with this legal step was to ensure that all our students can continue learning in person while eligibility for the vaccines is still limited and community spread of COVID within Douglas County remains high. We understand that there may be families who disagree with this position and this step. However, we believe that this ruling allows us to remain committed to prioritizing the health, safety, and learning of every single child. We, as a school district, must ensure that all students – including those with disabilities and underlying medical conditions – can continue in-person learning and have an equal opportunity to thrive.

The Temporary Restraining Order is effective for the next two weeks, unless otherwise extended by the judge. We will keep our community updated on any further developments regarding this case. As always, I am thankful for the continued support and cooperation of our DCSD community as we navigate this everchanging pandemic and these complex times.

Sincerely,


Corey Wise
Superintendent
Douglas County School District

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