Latina Vaccine

Celina C. Redding, 90, smiles behind a mask after receiving a dose of the Phizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine outside St. Cajetan Catholic Church on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 in Denver. Latina leaders organized the vaccination event to combat vaccine disparities in the community after early data showed that residents of color were receiving the vaccine at lower rates. (Michael Ciaglo/Special to The Denver Gazette)

The Tri-County Health Department amended its face covering order Monday, removing the requirement that masks be worn in public outdoor spaces.

Masks are still required to be worn in indoor public spaces by everyone older than 10 years old. Children ages of 2 to 10 are encouraged to wear masks but not required.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” said TCHD Executive Director John Douglas Jr. “Until every person has had the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine, many in our communities remain at risk for serious illness from this virus.”

Officials said they are no longer requiring masks to be worn outdoors because of advancements in vaccination rates in Colorado.

According to the Colorado School of Public Health, 27% of Coloradans are immune to COVID-19 because of vaccination or prior infection and 68% of Coloradans aged 65 and older are immune. 

“We are still learning more about the question of whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others,” Douglas said. “So, for now, it’s important to wear a mask and keep a safe distance to stop further spread.”

Douglas also pointed to the spread of more severe and contagious variants of COVID-19 and the plans for businesses to fully re-open in the coming weeks as reasons to continue wearing masks.

“By continuing to wear face coverings, we can protect our friends and loved ones and minimize the impact that outbreaks have on our schools and businesses,” he said.

This new face covering order applies to Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties; however, many jurisdictions within the counties have opted out of the order.

These jurisdictions will follow state guidelines, including that which allows counties to adjust face mask requirements when they reach Level Green, the lowest level of COVID-19 response dial.

Currently, Arapahoe County is Level Blue, while Douglas and Adams counties are Level Yellow.

Counties under the new TCHD face covering order require masks in public indoor spaces regardless of their position on the state COVID-19 response dial.

The new face covering order will remain in place until June 30. For more information visit tchd.org/covid.

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