Broomfield implements mask mandate, citing surge in omicron cases and Marshall Fire

Metro area’s ICU capacity less than 4%, 62% of facilities reporting staff shortages
Virus Outbreak France_indoor masks.jpg
Posted at 12:39 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 15:11:08-05

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Broomfield will join several metro area counties in implementing a mask mandate due to the surge in cases of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Citing not only the rapid surge in cases of the highly transmissible COVID-19 variant but also the temporary closure of Avista Hospital due to the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, officials said in a news release Wednesday they must take action to protect the health and safety of the community.

Face masks will be required indoors across the city and county for everyone age 2 and older through February 3, 2022, regardless of vaccination status, per the new public health order.

The mask mandate is in response to Broomfield's seven-day average case rate drastically increasing, officials explained. The city and county's cases have increased from 221 cases per 100,000 people on Dec. 2 to 835.2 cases per 100,000 people on Jan. 4, more than two times the peak case incidence when delta was the dominant variant circulating in the community, according to officials.

"During this incredibly challenging time for our community, it’s critical that we once again mask up to keep each other safe," said a spokesperson from the city in a prepared statement. "Please wear your mask in indoor public spaces, get the booster, and continue to encourage friends and family to get fully vaccinated."

Douglas County is now the only county in the Denver metro not requiring face masks as cases of the omicron variant continue to surge across the state.

On Tuesday, hospital leaders from across the metro area warned hospital capacity was now "razor thin" and the situation could get worse if health care workers on the frontlines see their numbers dwindle due to the unchecked spread of the virus across the state.

Per Broomfield officials, the metro region’s ICU bed capacity currently is less than 4%, with 62% of facilities reporting staff shortages.