Teachers across Colorado to get supply of masks

State will supply medical-grade coverings to student-facing staff

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Colorado will provide hundreds of thousands of medical-grade masks to schools in every district across the state, Gov. Jared Polis has announced.

“We will be supplying every teacher in the state with one medical-grade mask per week. We're making that initial commitment of at least eight weeks,” Polis said during a July 21 news conference.

The state's commitment to providing the masks may last up to 10 weeks, said Shelby Wieman, a spokeswoman for the governor's office. If the state continues to see success in securing supplies, officials hope to extend that time period, Polis said at a July 23 news conference.

The masks will also be distributed for student-facing staff, Wieman said, possibly such as librarians and clerks.

“We're also hoping that school districts augment that with additional personal protection equipment that they're able to provide,” Polis said. PPE acquisition will still be driven at the local level, Wieman said.

And whether a school district starts in-person class at the start of the school year or not, it will still receive masks from the state.

“Critically, (the masks) will go to all school districts whether they are in-person or not,” Polis said. “So if there are some schools that are just starting out for a few weeks virtual, they can then stockpile those masks, and they can use them when they do go back.”

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