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October 27, 2021 6:22 PM

Public Health Extends Mask Requirement in Public Indoor Spaces

(October 27, 2021) – San Miguel County Public Health will extend the county-wide public health policy requiring masks in public indoor places. The requirement will be renewed before expiration on Monday, November 1 at 11:59 pm MST.

The public health order is set to expire on Tuesday, November 30 at 11:59 pm MST with an option for early termination if metrics improve. The requirement will apply to business employees and members of the public who visit public indoor places and for all individuals 2 years of age and older, regardless of vaccination status.

“Positive COVID cases continue to increase across the state while cases are highest amongst 5- to 17-year-olds, many of whom may soon be eligible to be vaccinated,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “The state of COVID in Colorado is worrisome. We need to carry the same urgency we brought to the pandemic forward.”

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the majority of hospitalized COVID patients are coming from the counties with low vaccination rates. Given this relationship, the CDPHE continues to encourage increased protective measures to help slow the spread and change the trajectory of the pandemic across Colorado.

“Public indoor places” continues to be defined broadly to include any enclosed indoor area, which is publicly or privately owned, to which the public has access by right or invitation. It includes enclosed indoor space serving as a place of employment, indoor stores, businesses, schools, common areas, offices, lobbies, and elevators. Consequently, employers should continue implementation of this requirement amongst employees, contractors, customers, and anyone else within their indoor space.

The federal government continues to require masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. This federal mandate includes the gondola servicing Telluride and Mountain Village and all public buses throughout the county.

Businesses and entities may impose more strict requirements, but not less restrictive.

“The sustained increase in cases amongst our vulnerable and unvaccinated populations is the continued reminder of the importance of vaccination. When you are eligible, we urge you to get your full vaccine series, including booster doses,” said Director Franklin. “The steps we can take toward protecting ourselves, our family, and our neighbors from COVID-19 are the same steps we can take to help reduce hospital capacity allowing space for all emergencies.”

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