DENVER — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has updated its COVID-19 public health order to end restrictions on large indoor gatherings, as well as to amend some of the rules regarding masks.
The new order goes into effect on Tuesday, June 1 and will expire on July 1, though it could be amended or expanded based on the virus’ activity in the state.
The previous public health order restrictions on indoor events in Colorado allowed for 100% capacity with proper social distancing, but capped gatherings at 500 people without approval from CDPHE.
Some large indoor gatherings have been approved in Colorado, including Nuggets and Avalanche games, where 10,500 fans are now allowed inside Ball Arena.
9NEWS has reached out to this venue and others to see what the new public health order will mean for fans, and what's changing.
Under the previous order, children 10 and under were exempt from certain face mask requirements. The health order now applies to children 11 and under, since the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for everyone over the age of 12.
This comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to allow people who are fully vaccinated to forego face coverings in most settings.
Here’s where face masks are still required in Colorado:
- Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated students, staff and visitors at K-12 schools and childcare centers – including camps – except while participating in outdoor activities.
- Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff are required to wear masks in Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle offices.
- Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated residents, staff and visitors at prisons and jails.
- Unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated patients, visitors and personnel in emergency medical and healthcare settings.
The following people are exempt from these requirements:
- Children 11 years old or younger.
- People who can’t medically tolerate wearing a face covering.
- People who are communicating with those who are hearing impaired and need their mouths to be seen.
- People who need to enter a business and remove their mask for identification purposes.
- People actively engaged in a public safety role, including law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
- People are officiating or participating in a funeral service where temporarily taking off a face covering is necessary.
- Face coverings can be removed by unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people for playing an instrument that requires their mouth.
The federal order requiring face coverings on public transportation is also applicable in Colorado, CDPHE said.
Counties that exceed 85% of their hospital capacity could be required to put more restrictions into place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Colorado experienced what was referred to as a “fourth wave” of COVID-19 infections earlier this spring, and has a heightened count of cases and hospitalizations, though deaths have remained low.
Both hospitalizations and cases are beginning to dip.
The state also released updated guidance for residential care facilities that's in line with the CDC's new policy about masks.
Per the new public health order, vaccinated residents and staff at long-term care facilities will no longer have to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. Previously, these settings accounted for many of Colorado's COVID-19 deaths.
“We want our residents and staff members at residential care facilities in Colorado to know there are clear benefits to vaccination,” said Randy Kuykendall the director of CDPHE's health facilities and EMS division, said in a news release. “These at-risk communities have been on the front-line of mitigating COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and while we aren’t quite out of it yet, making sensible, data-based decisions in regards to infection prevention and socialization will continue to help us finish strong and power the comeback.”
Long-term care facilities will also have to submit an ongoing vaccination plan to the state.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: COVID-19 Coronavirus