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Boulder County reinstates indoor mask mandate

The mandate goes into effect Friday and requires masks in indoor public spaces for everyone age 2 and up.

BOULDER, Colo. — Masks will be required again in all indoor public spaces in Boulder County under a public health order approved by local health officials Thursday.

According to the Boulder County government's website, Public Health Order 2021-08 requires mask wearing indoors for all individuals age 2 and up regardless of vaccination status.

The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Friday.

WATCH: The video above is about the mask recommendations issued by the CDC in July.

Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) said it is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) comprehensive data tracking system to determine transmission levels.

The CDC's system tracks COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, testing and other metrics to define four levels of community transmission: low, moderate, substantial/significant and high, based on the percentage of positive tests and the number of cases per 100,000 people.

Boulder County is currently in the "high" level of transmission. 

The county's COVID-19 information can be viewed here.

The county's website said masks are an essential component of a "layered mitigation strategy" to prevent disease and get transmission of the coronavirus under control.

“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, in a release. “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.”

The release said the order does allow, with BCPH approval, 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. 

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Mask mandates were lifted in Colorado in May following new CDC guidelines that were issued as the COVID-19 vaccines caused a decline in cases and hospitalizations. However, the prevalence of the delta variant has caused a resurgence in COVID-19 activity that prompted the CDC in late July to recommend the use of masks in indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status, in areas with substantial or high transmission levels. 

Boulder County's mandate will stay in effect until the county drops to low or moderate transmission for 21 consecutive days, the release said. If Boulder County moves back into high or substantial transmission for five consecutive days, the order will again require indoor masking.

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