JCPH Rescinds County Mask Order to Align with State Requirements
Along with other Denver Metro Area counties, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) rescinded its countywide mask order (Public Health Order 20-008) effective May 15. Now, all residents should follow the more relaxed mask requirements from the State of Colorado per Executive Order D 2021 103 and according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Second Amended Public Health Order 20-38.
Under the new state requirements, any fully vaccinated individual may go without a mask in any setting, unless the setting requires otherwise. However, all unvaccinated individuals and those who are not yet fully vaccinated ages 11 and older must continue to wear a mask in certain high-risk settings, including congregate care facilities, prisons, jails, Colorado DMV offices, as well as emergency medical and other health care settings. Masks are also still required in schools and child care settings (including extracurricular activities); however, individuals who are fully vaccinated in a classroom or cohort may remove their mask if their teacher or caregiver has provided proof of vaccination to their employer. Masks also remain required during travel per CDC requirements.
“Given the new research demonstrating the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in community settings, as well as recent announcements from the CDC and the Governor, we are finally able to take one large step closer to a return to normal today,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director of JCPH. “This is because Jeffco residents understand that getting vaccinated is the path out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most importantly, by getting vaccinated, you are not only protecting yourself but also your loved ones and everyone else in our Jeffco community.”
While the new state requirements are now the only mask regulations in Jeffco, any business may require patrons to wear masks when entering. JCPH supports the rights of all businesses to determine how best to protect their customers and employees given their specific business environment and requests residents to respectfully comply when visiting any business with a mask order.
As of May 14, 54.6% of Jeffco residents eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine are fully vaccinated, and an additional 10.8% are partially vaccinated. In Jeffco, 78.4% of residents aged 60-69 and 94.8% of people 70 and older — those most vulnerable to severe illness when infected with COVID-19 — have been fully vaccinated.
“Although the vaccination coverage in Jeffco is impressive, we are not done with this fight yet,” Comstock said. “COVID-19 rates are still far too high in Jeffco and anyone not yet vaccinated is still at risk. Anyone who cannot get vaccinated should continue to protect themselves by wearing a mask, maintaining 6 ft. distancing from non-household members whenever possible and avoiding large gatherings. To everyone who can be vaccinated but has not yet done so, there are now numerous places throughout our county where you can walk or drive up to get a free vaccine, no appointment needed. Please get vaccinated as soon as you can to help protect our neighbors, friends and loved ones who cannot be vaccinated.”
Important reminders for residents as public health regulations phase out:
As mask requirements are relaxed and the county enters Level Clear with no capacity or mitigation requirements for businesses and activities (except as required by the State of Colorado and CDPHE), JCPH reminds residents that it is now their responsibility to assess their own personal risks and take necessary actions to protect themselves.
Based on real-world evidence over more than a year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have learned and are now armed with clear, simple ways to stay safer and prevent COVID-19:
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and vaccination is the best way to prevent COVID-19. Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
- Masks work to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and anyone who is not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask especially in higher risk settings, such as when around large groups of people.
- If you aren’t yet fully vaccinated, maintaining social distancing of 6 ft. from people you don’t live with can help keep you safe.
- If you aren’t vaccinated, remember that gathering outdoors is safer than indoors, and being around small groups is safer than large groups.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible. If you test positive, isolate yourself to prevent spreading the virus to others who may not be vaccinated.
- Everyday steps like regular handwashing, keeping high-touch surfaces clean and disinfected, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when you’re sick will help stop the spread of germs and keep you and your loved ones healthy.
For additional information about masks, visit CDPHE’s mask guidance webpage. The state has also provided answers to frequently asked questions here. For more information about how to get a free, convenient COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit www.jeffco.us/covid-vaccine.
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.