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How Boulder County's vaccine verification program is working so far

Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe and Denver counties are offering a vaccine verification option in their mask mandates. Boulder's program started in September.

BOULDER, Colo. — Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe and Denver counties are offering a vaccine verification option, meaning businesses can opt out of those counties' new mask mandates if they choose to only serve vaccinated customers. 

If an indoor facility or event requires proof of vaccination, people don't have to wear a mask inside. 

Boulder County rolled out its mask exemption program in September. In that county, verified facilities must have at least 95% of all staff and patrons who are indoors vaccinated. 

Small business employers (fewer than 100 employees) who cannot reach the threshold of 95% vaccinated are encouraged to call 970-599-1256 to discuss their options.

Once approved, the facility or event must post approved signs indicating proof of vaccination is required in order to enter. 

More than 250 businesses are approved for the program, which is about 5% of registered businesses in the county. 

One-time events, such as a wedding or party, can also apply for the vaccine verification program. 

Many of the facilities that have applied for the program are office spaces or gyms.

No one in Bill Moltner's workout class in Boulder has to wear a mask. His F45 Training studio began requiring members to show proof of vaccination several weeks ago. 

"By and large we have had a very positive response to our initiative to be part of the vaccine verification program," he said.

Their initial response to the program was to understand concerns from members and find out how many were vaccinated. More than 95% of the studio's members have received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine, which is not a surprise for a county with a high vaccination rate.

"Concerns have been minimal and by and large overwhelmingly supportive," he said. 

At Boulder Indoor Soccer, the facility's owner, Peter Ambrose, said the vaccine requirement even encouraged more teams to play there.

"It has been very unfavorable to play with a mask on," he said. "That is what happened with some of our teams. They said they would go play somewhere else where they didn’t have to wear a mask."

All adult players must show proof of vaccination before entering the facility. 

"We just put ourselves on a more level playing field by not having anyone in the building, spectators or players, that aren’t vaccinated," he said.

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