Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a sign is posted on the window asking customers to please wear a mask inside the Hope Tank social enterprise gift store on Broadway on April 6, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Kathryn Scott, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Sunday eased the state’s coronavirus mask mandate once again, this time to allow people gathering in indoor spaces to ditch their face coverings as long as 80% of those present are fully vaccinated.

Masks were already no longer required for gatherings of nine people or fewer, regardless of what percentage of people are vaccinated.

The change, which comes with a 30-day extension, comes despite rising case counts and hospitalizations across Colorado. The state is in a race to vaccinate enough people to stop a fourth wave of the disease driven by more contagious variants.

The mask mandate was already not in effect for counties with less than 35 cases per 100,000 people. Regardless of case counts, however, masks are still required in a number of high-risk places, including schools, public areas of state government facilities, jails, prisons, congregate fare facilities, and emergency medical and other health care settings.

Counties have the ability to enact stricter mask mandates.

There were 625 people hospitalized because of COVID-19 in Colorado on Sunday.

The Colorado Sun — jesse@coloradosun.com

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Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage.

A Colorado College graduate, Jesse worked at The Denver Post from June 2014 until July 2018, when he joined The Sun. He was also an intern at The Gazette in Colorado Springs and The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, his hometown.

Jesse has won awards for long form feature writing, public service reporting, sustained coverage and deadline news reporting.

Email: jesse@coloradosun.com Twitter: @jesseapaul