Polis lifts Colorado mask mandate, outlines 'suggestions' to replace requirements

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Posted at 3:21 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 16:28:27-04

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis on Friday lifted Colorado's mask requirement in most settings, calling the change in the state order a shift from requirements to "suggestions."

Polis' announcement came one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask indoors.

Coloradan's guidance announced by Polis on Friday was in line with the CDC guidance — fully vaccinated Coloradans do not need to wear a mask in most settings, though Polis acknowledged that some businesses will still require masks and he said Coloradans should respect those decisions.

Polis said the state is advising — but not requiring — unvaccinated people to continue wearing a mask indoors in a setting with more than 10 people.

Several settings will still fall under a state mask mandate for unvaccinated people, including prisons and jails, emergency care settings, congregate care facilities and child care businesses. Those requirements will be in place through June 1, Polis said.

Polis said he believed that lifting the statewide mask requirement "will encourage people to get vaccinated."

State health officials have estimated that 75-80% of Coloradans want the vaccine. Just under 40% of Coloradans are fully vaccinated.

"The pandemic is not over," Polis said, "but if you are vaccinated, it is largely over for you."