Gov. Polis extends mask mandate, level green counties can opt out

Governor Jared Polis announced the mask mandate will be extended for another 30 days in the state, but made some adjustments to the rule.

Counties in level green on the state COVID dial are able to lift the mandate or alter it. There are 31 counties accounting for 238,286 Coloradans falling into that category. In counties at level blue, yellow, orange, red, and purple masks are still required in all public indoor settings when 10 or more unvaccinated individuals or individuals of unknown vaccination status are present.

“Here in Colorado we are making incredible progress with getting vaccines into arms and protecting our most vulnerable, but until everyone can get the vaccine and our COVID cases are reduced, taking precautions to prevent a surge in cases and further spread of the disease is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do and helps keep everything open,” Polis said.

“By continuing to wear our masks in public indoor settings around others, we can safely enjoy the activities we love and keep our economy open. Every community has been impacted differently by this pandemic, and we want to ensure this order is reflective of that. We’re almost there, Colorado, but we need to keep this up just a little bit longer,” he said.

The 33 other counties outside level green account for 5,525,690 Coloradans. Polis said 1 in 207 people are currently contagious with COVID-19. While about 27% of the state is either fully vaccinated or has antibodies from previous infection, we are not at herd immunity quite yet.

“In the meantime, we must continue practicing vigilance by wearing masks especially if you aren’t yet fully vaccinated, practicing social distancing when in public and in the company of people with unknown vaccine status. This modified mask order is a step towards the light at the end of the tunnel, and it acknowledges a transition away from most requirements for those counties in level green with very low transmission, 35 cases or less out of every 100,000, and the great achievement they have made towards ending the pandemic,” he said.

The mandate extension requires mask wearing in schools, at extracurricular activities, child care centers and indoor camps for kids. Hospitals, emergency care and other healthcare facilities, congregate care facilities, jails, and prisons require masks to be worn at all times.