Latina Vaccine

Celina C. Redding, 90, smiles behind a mask after receiving a dose of the Pfizer-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)

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

The change affects Douglas, Arapahoe and Adams counties. But jurisdictions within the counties have opted out of the order, including Columbine Valley, the towns of Bennett, Parker, Deer Trail and Bennett, the cities of Glendale and Castle Pines, Arapahoe County east of Watkins Road to the county line, and all of Douglas County.

Those jurisdictions will continue to 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, all more restrictive than the Green level.

Regardless of the outdoor change in those three counties, 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,” Tri-County Executive Director John Douglas Jr. said. “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 increased 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 cited the spread of more severe and contagious variants of COVID-19 and the plans for businesses to fully re-open in the coming weeks.

“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.

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

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