Centennial Health Care Center on Tuesday, Mar 2 in Greeley. (Josh Polson, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado health officials Tuesday night reinstated a mask mandate for everyone who enters a nursing home, regardless of their vaccination status.

The restriction, while subtle and affecting only a limited number of people, is another hint at the worsening coronavirus situation in Colorado and across the country, driven by spread of the more contagious delta variant.

“The recent CDC announcement recommends that people in substantial and high transmission areas wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status ,” Randy Kuykendall, director of Colorado’s Health Facilities and EMS Division, said in a written statement. “As we look to decrease new COVID-19 cases, additional or more stringent infection prevention measures may be necessary at times and our experts will continue to monitor virus data so we can make mitigation decisions that best fit Colorado’s residential care facilities.”

Gov. Jared Polis has said repeatedly that he doesn’t plan to reinstate broad coronavirus restrictions as long as Colorado’s hospitals aren’t set to be overrun with patients.

Nursing homes and other senior care centers took the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic when it first arrived in Colorado. The disease killed hundreds of residents of those facilities.

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