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Mask order extended for Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties 'for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic'

Gov. Jared Polis shared the latest projections on Tuesday amid what officials call Colorado's third wave of COVID-19.

DENVER — Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) announced Tuesday it will extend the local public health order requiring face masks in indoor public spaces and in outdoor spaces whenever six-foot distancing is not maintained.

The public health order for Adams County, Arapahoe County and Douglas County will be extended "for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, or until amended or rescinded," according to TCHD.

The previous public health order will expire on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 11:59 p.m.

"This approach is consistent with the one taken by many counties and municipalities in the Denver metro area," said TCHD Executive Director John M. Douglas, Jr., MD. "As we enter our 'third wave,' we believe this is the best course of action since masks remain one of our most important tools in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, and will likely be needed until effective vaccines are widely available and utilized."

TCHD said if a municipality or county opted-out in July, they remain opted-out in the extended order and will follow Gov. Jared Polis’ (D-Colorado) statewide mask order, which was extended for another 30 days on Oct. 11.

TCHD said it will continue to monitor the science and data pertaining to mask wearing and its impact on the pandemic and will make adjustments to this order as needed.

For more information, visit www.tchd.org/837/Face-Coverings.

RELATED: Gov. Polis officially extends statewide mask mandate

RELATED: Colorado coronavirus latest numbers, Oct. 21

Colorado health officials are working to spread a message about limiting the spread of COVID-19 as hospitalizations and positivity rises across the state – something that models indicate could exceed ICU capacity by late December if trends don’t change.

“I know we’re all very tired of the virus, fatigue is setting in, and that’s why we’re seeing these numbers,” said Polis during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Polis said the state is launching a campaign to communicate the need to increase social distancing and mask wearing to those who have not yet received the message. He advocated for people to continue to only interact with one other household at a time, avoid large gatherings and practice basic hygiene.

RELATED: Polis, health officials warn of larger third wave of COVID-19 if people don't change behaviors