DENVER — After summer break, getting kids ready to return to school can bring its share of stress. But this year, parents are concerned about more than just school supplies.
"It's nerve-wracking," said Lacy Rosales, who has two school-aged children.
Denver7 reached out to seven school districts across the Denver metro area about what their plans are for masks and their COVID-19 response when school starts back up.
The general consensus when it comes to mask-wearing is they too are working with health partners and will share information with parents before the start of school. Douglas County has already said it won’t require masks for students and staff. The Boulder Valley School District said masks will likely not be mandatory.
"What are they thinking? Where are they leaning? We want to know that," said Rosales.
Denver7 spoke with two mothers who have children attending JeffCo Public Schools and both have different perspectives on what the return to school should look like.
"I do hope that JeffCo and DPS (Denver Public Schools) and the other schools will follow suit and follow what the CDC has recommended, which is if you're under 12 years of age or if your students are unvaccinated, they should be masking at school," said emergency medicine physician and mother Dr. Comilla Sasson.
Parent Lacey Rosales said her son struggled with speech when schools implemented mask requirements.
"He's having issues articulating his words now and we're starting to see it now after school is over," Rosales said.
Dr. Richard Zane, the chief innovation and chief of emergency services with UCHealth, said the best way to combat COVID-19 and the delta variant is through vaccination.
"So right now, the delta variant is a disease of the unvaccinated, and the unvaccinated are children under the age of 12 — those that, for some reason, declined to be vaccinated and then people who don't have a vaccine response," Dr. Zane said.
He said as long as everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine does so, infection rates among children under 12 will decrease.
"It is not just an obligation to your own personal health, but it's a societal obligation," said Dr. Zane.
This conversation comes at a time when the delta variant now makes up more than 75% of all COVID cases. For parents, regardless of what decision schools districts make, the sooner it is announced the better.
"If my kid wants to go with the mask one day because his buddy is wearing a mask... then go ahead, wear a mask. If somebody is not comfortable with it and they want their kid to wear a mask, let them wear a mask," Rosales said.