Officials in Denver say that it is “likely” they will let the citywide indoor mask rule expire this week.
The public health order, which requires everyone who is older than 2 to wear face covering in all public indoor spaces, is set to expire on Thursday, 9NEWS reports. Under the current order, if a business or venue can verify that at least 95% of people in the facility are fully vaccinated, then face coverings aren’t required.
“As we approach Feb. 3, we’re analyzing the data and it seems likely we will be able to let the public health order expire,” city officials told 9News this week. “We’re encouraged by the continued decline in case rates, positivity and hospitalizations in Denver and across the metro area. We’ll be talking with our regional partners over the weekend.”
The Denver public health order went into effect in November. It was previously set to expire Jan. 3, but the city extended the order due to “rising cases of COVID-19 and the emergence of the omicron variant in Colorado.”
Similarly, officials from the Tri-County Health Department — which covers nearby Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties — said they would have a special meeting on Monday to also discuss ending masking public health orders.
Discussions of allowing mask orders to expire come during the same week that state health officials reported that COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations are slowly declining.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said on Thursday that the state’s positivity rate has declined slightly to 22% and there are 1,444 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
“While things are moving in the right direction, there is still a lot of COVID-19 moving through our communities,” Herlihy said.