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Denver aligns with state order removing some indoor mask requirements

Face coverings will no longer be required in some indoor settings where 10 or more people are gathered, if at least 80% are vaccinated.

DENVER — Mayor Michael Hancock (D-Denver) gave an update on the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic where it was announced that the city will mostly align with the state's new mask requirements.

Hancock was joined by Denver Department of Public Health & Environment Executive Director Bob McDonald, who said that Denver will be mostly following with the state's revised mask order.

The order allows people to take off their masks in some public indoor spaces including offices where more than 10 people are gathered, as long as at least 80% of them have shown proof of vaccination.

Face coverings are not required in indoor public spaces where nine or fewer people are present. Restaurant employees are allowed to remove masks if 85% of the staff is fully vaccinated.

McDonald said that one difference in Denver's order will be the continued requirement of masks in grocery stores and similar large retail venues.

RELATED: New mask mandate allows people to go maskless at indoor gatherings, if enough of them are vaccinated

The latest data show 63.4% of Denver's population 16 and older has received at least one dose, and 45.7% are fully vaccinated.

However, McDonald said hospitalizations are now ticking back up because the newer variants are causing more severe cases of COVID among younger, unvaccinated people.

Hancock urged residents who are not protected to get vaccinated and set goals to get to 60% full vaccination by June 1, and 70% by July 4.

"More people getting vaccinated means more of our local business can reopen further, and that means they can start getting people back to work," Hancock said.

Credit: Denver Department of Public Health & Environment

During a news conference last week, Hancock discussed economic strategies to help the city and county recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hancock said the goal is to build back in a way that creates a broader foundation for more people to prosper and seize opportunities in the city. He stressed the importance in investing in infrastructure that will help create jobs and local businesses regain ground lost during the pandemic.

With funding from the American Rescue Plan, Hancock said Denver will restore essential city services that were cut over the last year and help provide relief to some of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic like construction, restaurants, hospitality and tourism. 

Last week's news conference was the first of several announcements in the coming weeks discussing top priorities of Hancock's administration; the economy, unhoused and unsheltered neighbors, and overall community safety.

RELATED: Hancock announces economic recovery strategy for Denver

RELATED: 9 takeaways from 9Wants to Know's investigation into pandemic fines and payments to nursing homes



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