Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Sunday eased the state’s coronavirus mask mandate once again, this time to allow people gathering in indoor spaces to ditch their face coverings as long as 80% of those present are fully vaccinated.
Masks were already no longer required for gatherings of nine people or fewer, regardless of what percentage of people are vaccinated.
The change, which comes with a 30-day extension, comes despite rising case counts and hospitalizations across Colorado. The state is in a race to vaccinate enough people to stop a fourth wave of the disease driven by more contagious variants.
The mask mandate was already not in effect for counties with fewer than 35 cases per 100,000 people. Regardless of case counts, however, masks are required in a number of high-risk places, including schools, public areas of state government facilities, jails, prisons, congregate fare facilities, and emergency medical and other health care settings.
Counties have the ability to enact stricter mask mandates. For example, a health order put in place last month for La Plata County remains in effect and requires face coverings for indoor places unless all people present are fully vaccinated.
There were 625 people hospitalized because of COVID-19 in Colorado on Sunday.