Near the End of the Colorado Mask Mandate

Gov. Jared Polis’s new mask order allows people in about half of the state’s 64 counties to ditch their face coverings in the vast majority of public indoor places.


Owen Etter

Charles Juarez, Kayla Lorimer, and Jacob Noyes just before rehearsing for the Frederick musical, Working. The mask mandate may be lifting, but activities are still requiring masks so the actors and athletes can still do what they love.

Lena Siscoe, Staff Writer

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday, April 02 finalized his decision to ease the state’s mask mandate starting on Saturday, allowing people to ditch their face coverings in the vast majority of public indoor places. As Colorado is slowly moving toward easing COVID-19 restrictions like masks and social distancing. The new “Executive Order D 2021 079” requires people who live in counties that are under level-green restrictions on Colorado’s coronavirus radar map to wear masks only in K-12 schools, child care centers, indoor children’s camps, public-facing state government facilities, congregate care facilities, prisons, and jails. Masks will also still be required in health care settings including but not limited to hospitals, urgent-care centers, doctors’ offices, as well as at personal-services businesses, like hair and nail salons.

People who live in counties that are in levels blue, yellow, orange, red, or purple will have to wear masks only when they are gathering with 10 or more unrelated, unvaccinated people in an indoor public setting. Masks are required for all people in the blue, yellow, orange, red, or purple level zones even if you live in a level-green county you are still required to wear face coverings, regardless of how many people are present. The mask-wearing requirements only apply to people who are age 11 and older. Despite the new order, the state is still encouraging people to voluntarily wear masks in any setting where they are interacting with people outside of their household. The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment will not enforce Gov. Polis’ executive order, which has no legal effect, requiring residents to wear non-medical face coverings indoors.

Weld County Chair Mike Freeman’s response to the COVID-19 belief about the executive order is that it should be the personal responsibility of the community to determine how they want to protect themselves. “In Weld County, we believe in the individual responsibility of citizens to determine how best to protect themselves, their family, their business, and their consumers. Where the governor wants to force everyone to wear a mask, we believe in our citizens’ individual right to make that determination.” Weld County is in the high yellow, low orange level in COVID cases and is averaging 28,151 cumulative cases and is averaging 80 cases per week. 

The Weld County Department of Public Health is continuing to urge Weld County residents to use the same common-sense approach and to adhere to preventative measures to protect themselves against COVID-19: Wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces often, cover your cough, keep six feet of distance from others, and if you feel sick, stay home.