DENVER (KDVR) — Governor Polis loosened mask restrictions this weekend. While guidance for outdoor activities are clear – you don’t need them – when to wear masks indoors is raising some questions about enforcement and the safety of unmasking.
Experts say it is better to keep a mask handy as rules vary for different circumstances. “Having a mask is just courtesy I think,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Michelle Barron of UCHealth.
Hold on to your mask for a little while longer. At least for the rest of this month. Polis extended the statewide mask mandate for every school, prison and healthcare facility in the state. Other indoor settings are a little trickier.
If you live in a county with an incidence rate of more than 35 cases per 100,000 people, you will need to where a mask inside where 10 or more people may not be vaccinated.
Barron said the move seems to be safe. “There’s quite a bit of data that shows if you’re vaccinated and you’ve had your two shots and are beyond that time frame, the likelihood of you getting COVID are so extraordinarily low, I think that is why they are allowing some of this leeway,” she said.
Under the new guidelines, groups of 10 or more can come together inside as along as 80% of the people there are vaccinated. Barron said safety among the vaccinated will come down to how comfortable people are.
“I mean it’s more than half, I guess. I honestly don’t know where the math came for that but again, I think people will have different thresholds of comfort with that,” Barron said.
Another potential point of discomfort, businesses having to address people proving they are vaccinated. We are waiting to hear back from the governor’s office about how the state plans to address this matter.