Grand loses mask mandate |

Grand loses mask mandate

Restrictions ease in line with state

Grand County will continue to follow the state’s lead with newly eased public health guidance.

On Friday, Gov. Jared Polis removed the state mask mandate for fully vaccinated Coloradans following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Counties, towns and businesses are still able to implement stricter mask mandates.

With the state dropping mask requirements in almost all circumstances for fully vaccinated people, Public Health Director Abbie Baker explained Tuesday that Grand will be doing the same.

Social distancing and masks continue to be recommended for everyone by local health officials. For 2- to 11-year-olds, who cannot yet receive the vaccine, masks are recommended for indoor public spaces but are not required.

Masks continue to be required for schools, jails and healthcare facilities with some exceptions. With just a few weeks left in the school year, Baker felt that keeping masks in the schools made sense to preserve the end of year activities.

“I think we can do it,” Baker said.

While unvaccinated people are still asked to distance and mask, the new health order mostly relies on an honor system for those unvaccinated people. Businesses can request proof of vaccination from customers if they choose to do so.

Baker emphasized that businesses have the right to implement stricter restrictions than the state but cannot be less restrictive. County Manager Ed Moyer said he is working with the health department on a mask plan for county buildings.

Events no longer require prior approval, though Baker said the health department would still like to see plans for big events to help ensure a plan in case of an outbreak.

Grand has seen only two active COVID-19 cases in the last seven days, according to Baker, dropping the county’s case rate to less than 35 per 100,000 for seven consecutive days.

She added that as of Tuesday there are no active COVID-19 outbreaks or hospitalizations in the county.

“Just not having so many cases coming in and pushback on regulations is huge,” Baker said. “It’s a really big relief.”

Children age 12-17 can now receive the Pfizer vaccine, which means more of Grand’s population is now eligible for vaccinations. Baker estimated that 57-60% of the now-eligible population has some level of COVID-19 immunity.

She added that in addition to Safeway, City Market is now offering Pfizer vaccines.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove an inaccurate statement related to service animals. Businesses are not allowed to require documentation for a service animal, though staff can ask if the animal is required for a disability and what work the dog has been trained to perform.

Reporter McKenna Harford contributed to this report.

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