PITKIN COUNTY, CO.– Due to the recent surge of the Delta variant and aligning with CDC guidance, Pitkin County Public Health, at the direction of the Board of Health has, issued 11th Amended Public Health Order requiring masks in all indoor public settings during periods of substantial or high transmission as defined by the CDC’s Data Tracker. The Amended Public Health Order goes into effect Thursday, September 16 at 12:01 a.m. and requires masks in all indoor public spaces for all individuals 2 years and older regardless of vaccination status.
Because the delta variant is nearly twice as contagious, on July 27, 2021, the CDC issued a recommendation emphasizing the need for urgently increasing rates of vaccination and universal masking, regardless of vaccination status, for individuals age 2+ in public indoor settings in counties with substantial or high transmission.
The CDC’s Data Tracker defines four levels of transmission: low, moderate, substantial, and high. Pitkin County is currently in high transmission.
The order will monitor the CDC’s community transmission tracker in Pitkin County and require masks during periods of high and substantial transmission. Once Pitkin County’s status on the CDC Data Tracker drops into moderate or low transmission for 21 consecutive days, the Order will automatically release the mask requirement in Pitkin County, and masks will only be recommended.
If cases in Pitkin County increase to high or substantial transmission for five consecutive days, the mask requirement will go into effect until transmission once again drops to moderate or low levels.
The amended public health order remains in effect until further notice or rescinded by a future order.
Pitkin County’s Transmission Status, including if masks are currently required, is posted on Pitkin County’s current status page
Masks are required during substantial and high transmission in all indoor public spaces, including but not limited to public transportation, private and public offices, retail stores, restaurants, bars, event centers, gyms, recreation centers, and manufacturing facilities.
The order does not apply to private homes; however, Pitkin County Public Health recommends wearing a mask whenever around individuals from a different household, particularly when at least one individual is not vaccinated.
Public Health also recommends that businesses and facilities move activities outdoors whenever possible, or increase ventilation by opening windows and doors, running the HVAC, or installing portable air filters. The order does not contain any outdoor mask requirements.
“Only second to vaccination, adoption of an indoor mask order is an extremely effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and set a universal expectation for mask wearing throughout the community,” said Jordana Sabella, Pitkin County Public Health Director. “By adopting an indoor mask order now, we can preserve our healthcare system resources, protect the health of our community, and have the best chance at preventing hugely impactful capacity and social distancing restrictions in the future.”
Pitkin County Public Health recommends wearing a surgical mask, N95, or KN95 when possible, though cloth masks that comply with CDC mask guidance meet the requirements of the order.
As part of the mask order, businesses and facilities may receive an exception for masking if they choose to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for their employees and guests. This is a voluntary program that allows businesses to develop their own policies to encourage and require vaccinations while meeting their specific demographic, community and business needs. All businesses must receive explicit approval as an Approved Fully Vaccinated Facility by Pitkin County Public Health. Applications for the Fully Vaccinated Facility Program will open on October 11, 2021. Additional details to follow.
If a business or facility currently requires and will continue to require proof of vaccination of all guests and employees as a condition of entry, they may reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain an exception to the mask order.
For more information and a full list of frequently asked questions about the order, visit Pitkin Counties Indoor Mask Order FAQs. Pitkin County Indoor Masking FAQs.