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Pitkin County mandates public indoor masks as COVID-19 cases rise in September

Pitkin County this week joined a growing list of Colorado counties mandating public indoor masks, joining Boulder County which reinstated an indoor mask mandate earlier in the month.

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Face masks are required in Pitkin County for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of a vaccination status, the Aspen Times reported. The order, which does not apply to private residences, went into effect on Thursday.

On Monday, Pitkin County had 19 new cases and the seven-day average was seven cases, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Pitkin County businesses and facilities that implement a mandatory vaccination policy for employees and guests can receive an exemption to the indoor mask order if approved as a fully vaccinated facility by the Pitkin County Public Health Department.

On Sept. 3, Boulder County approved an indoor mask requirement for public spaces. Boulder requires masks to be worn in all indoor public spaces by everyone 2 years and older regardless of vaccination status. Boulder’s mask order excludes private residences.

An indoor mask order in San Miguel County went into effect on Sept. 2 and it’s scheduled to run through Sept. 30, subject to continuing review by the county’s public health director. San Miguel officials said that limited hospital bed capacity in the area contributed to the mask mandate.

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San Juan County continues to have a public indoor mask mandate.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment encourages all Coloradans to keep masks with them in public and wear them if asked. The state requires universal mask use for staff, visitors, and residents in residential care facilities regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated people are “encouraged to continue wearing masks in all public indoor spaces.” The CDPHE  “recommends” masks for everyone inside K-12 schools.

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