ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) announced Tuesday evening that its order requiring masks to be worn in public places will be extended until the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, or until it is amended or rescinded.
The current order was set to expire on Thursday.
Under the order, people are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoors when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.
TCHD covers Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties, which are home to a total of about 1.5 million people.
“This approach is consistent with the one taken by many counties and municipalities in the Denver Metro area. As we enter our ‘third wave,’ we believe this is the best course of action since masks remain one of our most important tools in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, and will likely be needed until effective vaccines are widely available and utilized,” Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., the executive director of TCHD, said in a statement.
Under the original order, local municipalities could opt out. According to TCHD, those areas (including Castle Rock and Brighton) are still excluded from the Tri-County order but remain under the statewide mask order from Gov. Jared Polis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cloth face coverings are not intended to protect the person wearing the mask, but rather those around them.
“Cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities. There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.,” the CDC said in July.
TCHD said it will continue monitoring the data and science regarding mask wearing and “will make adjustments to this order as needed.”