The Thompson School District (TSD) is set to do away with its mask mandate next week.

On Wednesday night (Feb. 2), the Thompson School District Board of Education virtually gathered for a routine meeting; during the meeting, Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales jumped into the conversation to discuss the status of the district's current mask mandate, which has been in effect since last September.

The Loveland Reporter-Herald says the district board listened to a considerable amount of public comment regarding masks at the beginning of the meeting. Unshockingly, many comments opposed the mask mandate - a common theme that kickstarted among commenters during the district's board meetings at the beginning of the school year.

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A group vote was ultimately taken during the meeting to decide whether or not to keep the school district's mask mandate in place; in the end, the vote was split 5-2, as district board members Pam Howard and Amy Doran voted against removing the mask mandate, while the other five board members voted in favor of lifting the mandate.

“I think it’s premature,” said Pam Howard, in regards to her decision to vote against lifting the district's mask mandate, adding that the board was giving in to fatigue and not looking out for the best interests of students and staff, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

“I don’t think the data is there.”

In addition to the discussions around the status of TSD's mask mandate, Gonzales touched on his decision to lift the mandate in Larimer County, which he said was based on new conditions with the omicron variant and how it differs from prior variants.

“This is not a novel virus anymore, it’s becoming endemic,” “Really the next step here is, we move forward.”

RELATED: Larimer County's Mask Mandate Is Coming To An End 

The county’s mask mandate, implemented by the Larimer County Board of Health last fall, is set to expire on Friday, Feb. 11 at 11:59 pm.

When Is Thompson School District's Mask Mandate Set To Expire?

Falling in line with the county's plan to end its mask mandate, Thompson School District's mask mandate will also no longer be in effect as of Saturday, Feb. 12 at midnight.

Although masks generally will no longer be required in the district, there are still some exceptions to the mandate.

As per federal requirements, masks will continue to be required on school buses, as well as in the district’s Head Start programs (i.e; early childhood education), which receive federal funding.

In addition, quarantine measures - should a student test positive for COVID-19 - will remain intact although the mask mandate is being lifted.

For more information regarding the Thompson School District's decision to lift its mask mandate, click here. 

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