BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Boulder County is putting an indoor mask requirement back in place for all community members 2 and up.
Even people who are vaccinated will be required to wear masks while in indoor public spaces due to the recent surge of the delta variant, according to Boulder County Public Health.
The order will apply to all public settings, including but not limited to public transportation, private and public offices, retail stores, restaurants, bars, event centers, gyms, recreation centers, and manufacturing facilities.
The order does allow an exception for indoor public masking for employers, owners and operators who have voluntarily implemented proof of vaccination requirements for all employees, staff, visitors and patrons entering their facility. Businesses and event owners and operators should contact COVIDbiz@bouldercounty.org for more information on obtaining approval for a mask exception.
The Boulder County Board of Health approved the public health order during its Sept. 2 meeting.
The order goes into effect Friday at 5 p.m.
The public health order says the goal is “to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 so as to maintain consistent health care capacity in Boulder County to adequately treat patients suffering from the disease.”
The order follows the CDC’s suggestion that areas of high transmission, which is considered to be above 100 cases per 100,000, are recommended to wear masks in indoor public settings. Boulder County’s current transmission rate is 136.42 case per 100,000.
The order will monitor the CDC's community transmission tracker in Boulder County and require masks during periods of substantial or high transmission and for the first 21 days after moving to moderate or low transmission. After 21 days in moderate or low transmission levels, masks will still be recommended but no longer required.
However, the public health order will remain in place, and Boulder County can move back to the indoor mask requirement if COVID-19 transmission rates move back into a substantial or high rate for five consecutive days.
“Only second to vaccination, adoption of a universal mask order is an extremely effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and minimize disruptive cycles of reactionary orders, and is particularly important for seeing a rapid shift,” said Camille Rodriguez, BCPH executive director. “With a long-term layered mitigation strategy, we have a sustainable and proactive strategy. By adopting a universal mask order now, we can preserve our healthcare system resources, protect the health of our community, and prevent hugely impactful capacity and social distancing restrictions.”
Boulder County previously lifted its indoor face covering order on June 10.