JCPH Releases Updated Mask Order, Aligns with the State on Requirements
This week, Governor Jared Polis extended the State mask order that allows for fewer restrictions on mask-wearing in certain circumstances. In an effort to keep regulations uniform across the Denver Metro Area, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) will update and renew its current mask order (PHO 20-008), which is set to expire May 5, 2021, to align with the state’s order. JCPH’s amended order is effective May 5, 2021 and, until further notice, is set to expire or be updated on June 6, 2021.
“The changes to the mask order are just one example of how far we’ve come in this fight against COVID-19. The increase in numbers of individuals vaccinated is very encouraging,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director of JCPH. “Still, we know that we’re not yet out of the woods, and it’s important to remember that if you are in a situation in which disease transmission is more likely, masking is strongly recommended. Understand your personal level of risk and keep your mask in your pocket, purse, or otherwise handy so you can wear it when needed and remove it when it’s safe.”
Individuals are encouraged to socialize in outdoor spaces when possible as outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings.Masks are not required in outdoor spaces.
Key changes to the order include:
- Masks are required in public indoor settings where 10 or more unvaccinated individuals or individuals of unknown vaccination status are present.
- Masking is not required in indoor public spaces if 80% or more of the individuals present are fully vaccinated (two full weeks after obtaining all required doses of a vaccine) and can provide proof of vaccination.
- Masking is not required in indoor public spaces if there are 9 or fewer individuals who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.
- Masks continue to be required in Pre-K-12 schools, public areas of county or municipal government facilities, congregate care facilities, prisons, jails, medical and healthcare settings, during travel (per CDC requirements) and personal service settings regardless of the vaccination status of the individuals present.
- Face coverings are required for all individuals in a Mass Indoor Gathering (more than 100 unvaccinated people or people whose vaccination status is unknown gathered in a room indoors).
JCPH reminds our community that though masking is no longer required outdoors, and under the new provisions of this order may not be required in certain indoor settings, it is strongly recommended to continue to wear a mask in higher risk settings to prevent the spread of disease, such as when in large groups, indoors in high-traffic areas or while spending time with those who have not yet been vaccinated. Mask-wearing is a proven strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19, which is still prevalent in our community.
Jefferson County can enjoy these new regulations around masks as long as disease transmission remains stable or decreases. However, if the number of cases and hospitalizations rises, JCPH’s order may be amended to require masking in more settings.
In addition, JCPH urges all members of our community to get vaccinated as soon as they can. Vaccines are currently available and approved for all adults age 16 and older, and we anticipate changes in eligibility to soon include youth age 12-15.
Because of the growing rates of vaccination in our community, modeling from the Colorado School of Public Health indicates that we’re getting closer each day to a highly-anticipated milestone – by late May, it’s expected that enough Coloradans will be vaccinated to greatly reduce community spread.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and the loosening of restrictions we’re seeing now is a direct result of the millions of Coloradans and hundreds of thousands of Jeffco residents who have received their vaccine and are better protected against the virus,” Dr. Comstock said. “One step at a time, we are beating this thing. The people of Jeffco have worked hard and long at this, and we at JCPH are proud of all the efforts you’ve taken. Please continue to remain vigilant just a little longer while we get more of our community to that safer place and encourage everyone you know who has not already done so to get vaccinated.”
For those looking to get a vaccine, there are a number of ways to do so. Information about where to find a vaccine, how to sign up and more is available on JCPH’s COVID-19 Vaccination webpage.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth