Colorado COVID-19 mask order abandoned by Governor Polis
At a hastily scheduled May 14 press conference, Governor Jared Polis took obvious pleasure in announcing that Colorado will follow the lead of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and drop the mask mandate of the Condition for anyone fully vaccinated against COVID-19, whether indoors or outdoors.
Over the past year, for his appearances to discuss the pandemic, Polis has typically approached the microphone wearing a face mask – but not today. His nose and mouth were exposed to the elements as he said, as simply as possible: “If you are vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask.”
The statement follows about 24 hours of chaos over new CDC guidelines, which contradicted many, if not most, of Colorado’s mask rules – and officials are still working to catch up. No official publication on the latter edict has yet been issued by the Polis office or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Additionally, CDPHE’s mask advice page still offers old advice regarding the use of face coverings and links to the suddenly outdated May 2 order.
As a result, the specifics of the new order are still a bit unclear. But officials said they were aligning themselves with the CDC’s dictates, which contain a few caveats. Here is the current CDC information that appears under the heading “What you should keep doing”:
• You should always follow the advice at your workplace and local businesses.
• If you are traveling, you still need to take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation to, within or outside the United States and at U.S. transportation hubs such as the airports and train stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or present COVID-19 recovery documents within the past 3 months) and should always get tested 3 5 days after their trip.
• You should always watch out for the symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you have been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
• People who have an illness or are taking drugs that weaken the immune system should talk to their healthcare professional to discuss their activities. They may need to continue to take all necessary precautions to avoid COVID-19.
In Colorado, Polis notes, businesses, schools and the like may still require the use of a mask. But the state is pulling back from issuing such guidelines in order to focus on vaccinating as many people as possible as quickly as hypodermic can be met. After all, according to the CDPHE, less than half of eligible Coloradans have been fully vaccinated to date.
Continue to watch the Polis press conference in its entirety:
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