Boulder County Public Health will re-establish the Indoor Mask Order

Boulder County Public Health will re-establish the Indoor Mask Order

High levels of coronavirus infection in Boulder County require people to wear masks at home soon.

Boulder County Public Health is also working to develop a new program that encourages businesses to implement vaccine policies by exempting them from the mask order if a vaccination policy exists.

The new public health order, unanimously approved by the Boulder County Board of Health on Thursday, will take effect at 5 p.m. Friday. Masks will be required in any public indoor space or office settings, but not indoors.

The new “voluntary fully vaccinated facility program” will not begin accepting applications until the end of September as the county public health association continues to draw details.

There are some exemptions in the command of masks, for those who cannot wear a mask for medical purposes, for actively eating and drinking, and for those who have hearing loss.

Members of the Health Board overwhelmingly supported the order, which follows the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends a mask order for countries with high or heavy transmission.

The county currently has an incidence rate of 136.42 per 100,000 people, according to figures released Thursday.

BCPH epidemiologist Michael Wu said, “Our current cases are more than they were at the same time last year. “If there’s a second wave this fall, we’re already starting from a high baseline.”

“We need to take some additional action,” agreed Greg Thomas, chairman of the Board of Health.

Despite the unanimous support, there were some concerns about how effective the mandate would be.

Board member Brooke Harrison supported the public health order and said he particularly appreciated the idea of ​​promoting vaccination.

She said, “However, I still have doubts. “I doubt that those who have not been vaccinated will wear their masks. And I have little doubt that this will stop this spread quickly, especially if the countries around us do not implement it. ”

Boulder County Public Health revoked its mask order in May, when the state adopted new mask rules at a time when residents were no longer required to wear masks in most public settings.

Recently, however, as cases due to the delta type have been on the rise, BCPH has started recommending people to wear masks at home and now prefers to take this recommendation a step further.

Thomas was concerned about the timing as the new public health order would take effect less than 24 hours after the special meeting on Thursday.

However, Deputy County Attorney Trina Ruhland confirmed that enforcement will not impose any penalties unless a business actively disobeys a new public health order. The enforcement team will issue warnings and give businesses and people time to adapt to the changing situation, she said.

Sneha Mali