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Douglas County School Board votes to end mask mandate

The board made the decision in a 4-to-3 vote just after midnight, after hours of public comment and discussion.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The newly elected Douglas County School Board voted early Wednesday morning to get rid of the district's mask mandate.

The board made the decision in a 4-to-3 vote just after midnight, after hours of public comment and discussion. 

About 100 people signed up for public comment Tuesday night--the vast majority of whom wanted to voice their opinions against the mask mandate. The board members listened for more than three hours as students, teachers, and community members spoke about the mandate. 

The saga of masks in Douglas County is a long one. This school year, the district required masks under a Tri-County Heath Department order that went into effect Aug. 17. The county commissioners voted on Aug. 19 to opt out of that health order which left the decision of masking up to schools. 

When county leaders made good on their threat to create a new health department that did not recommend masks, the district sued, and a judge put the new Board of Health's rules on hold. The lawsuit was dismissed last month. 

Four of the seven seats on the school board were up for election on Nov. 2. The new board members were sworn in last week.

The newly elected conservative board members campaigned against the mask mandate, vowing to take it away if elected.

RELATED: Douglas County mask exemption order no longer applies to schools, board of health says

RELATED: Douglas County Health Department taking over COVID-19 services this month

RELATED: Dougco school board issues reminder on policies put in place to 'create a non-threatening environment'

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