Douglas County School District

Douglas County's mask exemption no longer applies to the Douglas County School District after the county's board of health approved a motion on Friday that revised its public health order that allowed exemptions from face coverings in schools. 

The newly formed Douglas County Board of Health made its first public order on Oct. 8 that declared students, teachers and faculty did not have to wear masks. 

The district sued the department on behalf of families with children with disabilities that range from cystic fibrosis to Type 1 Diabetes, which make them more susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19.

"We amended our order to reflect what the judge has already decided and removed enforcement of this order on the Douglas County School District," the board of health said in a news release Saturday. "We believe this is the most prudent decision at this time as it will: 1) Stop the clock on potential litigation costs associated with defending the order; 2) Allow the new school board to come into office with maximum flexibility as they determine the path forward to provide proper protections provided under state and federal law for all students and all teachers.

"Our Board of Health looks forward to meeting with the newly constituted Board of Education to discuss the best path forward and then move forward as a unified County.”

U.S. District Judge John L. Kane placed a temporary restraining order on the health order on Oct. 26, which has kept the district's mask mandate in effect since.

Kane previously stated the health order was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

"I find the risk of irreparable harm to Plaintiffs is significant and they have sufficiently demonstrated that the Public Health Order denies Student Plaintiffs reasonable accommodations in the form of science-backed masking and quarantine requirements," Kane wrote in his ruling. 

A hearing on the matter is scheduled in federal court on Monday.

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