Masks still required in most circumstances for Grand |

Masks still required in most circumstances for Grand

Grand County Public Health has again amended its local public health order to better align with state guidance. What that means for mask requirements might be a bit confusing.

According to the Grand County COVID-19 Response Team, masks are typically going to be required for indoor public spaces.

The state allows for individuals to remove their masks if 80% of the people in the indoor space have shown proof of vaccination. Because it’s difficult to determine if 80% of people are vaccinated or not, health officials said it’s best to assume in most circumstances that less than 80% has been vaccinated. Therefore, masks are required.

No matter the vaccine status of a group, masks will still be required in schools and other childcare settings, public areas of state government facilities, congregate care facilities, prisons and jails, and health care settings. Additionally, personal services as defined by the state, like beauticians and massage therapists, still require masks regardless of vaccine status.

If the seven-day case rate drops below 35 per 100,000 people — equal to roughly six or fewer cases per week for Grand — the county would meet the requirements to reduce mask use for many indoor public spaces.

The county’s latest amendment rolls back a number of other measures, shifting the majority of mandatory requirements to “strong recommendations” for most businesses, gatherings, events and activities.

Businesses can now operate at 100% capacity, and six feet of distancing is no longer required, unless otherwise stated by the state. Health officials continue to recommend distancing in nearly all circumstances and especially in the company of unvaccinated people.

Health officials went on to explain that towns, businesses, organizations, employers and event coordinators may choose to implement COVID guidelines that are more restrictive than the state or county mandates. However, no town or county is allowed to be less restrictive than the state.

With the exception of events, regular business operations no longer require a Grand County Compliance Verification Form. Organizers of events and activities must still complete the form and receive approval from Grand County Public Health prior to holding their event, which may take 10 or more days to finalize.

These events include gatherings of more than 50 people in most indoor and outdoor settings, though worship and life rites ceremonies will not need approval.

Seated events that can fully follow the state’s restaurant guidance may do so instead. Under these circumstances, parties are seated, there are no shared activities, and performers are at least 12 feet away from patrons if masked or 25 feet away if unmasked.

Grand has seen 22 COVID-19 cases in the past seven days. One person has been hospitalized in the last two weeks, but no residents are currently hospitalized due to the virus. An estimated 56% of vaccine-eligible residents have been at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

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