Denver: No masks if you’re vaxxed (or a business requires them)

The city announced new rules Friday.

Katelyn Trujillo and
Moses Malavet when Denver's tighter rules on face coverings were announced in October 2020.

Katelyn Trujillo and Moses Malavet when Denver's tighter rules on face coverings were announced in October 2020.

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
200219-ANA-CAMPBELL-STAFF-PHOTO-KEVINJBEATY-05-sq2

Update, May 14: The City of Denver announced vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks unless a business requires them. The new rules largely follow ones Colorado announced Friday.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped a pretty big new rule Thursday, saying that fully vaccinated Americans need not wear masks in most indoor and outdoor settings.

Some examples of maskless outings for the fully vaccinated — that is, people who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks — include most outdoor activities and going to a salon or an “uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museum,” eating at an indoor restaurant or bar or going to a movie theater, church service or high intensity exercise class.

BUT.

The CDC guidelines come with a huge caveat: They apply “except where (other rules are) required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

Mike Strott, a spokesperson for Mayor Michael Hancock, confirmed the CDC’s mask guidelines do not change Denver’s. And right now, Denver’s mask guidelines allow business to go maskless if 80 percent of the people inside are vaccinated, Denver Director of Public Health Bob McDonald announced May 6. Also, if 85 percent of a restaurant’s workers are vaccinated, they no longer have to wear masks inside. No face coverings are required inside when nine or fewer people are present.

From our story about the May 6 announcement: “People in Denver still must wear masks in grocery stores and other large retail stores where McDonald said it was impossible to track vaccination records. Schools, childcare centers, indoor camps, hospitals, nursing homes, jails, large government buildings, buses, planes and trains will also keep the mask requirement.”

Also remember that the CDC defers to businesses and workplaces to set their own mask guidelines visitors and workers must abide by. So if a business says mask up, well, you know what to do.

State health officials are expected to speak about the new CDC guidelines and how Colorado will apply them during a press conference at 2:15 p.m. Thursday. We’ll update this story with any relevant information.

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