Gov. Jared Polis plans to extend Colorado’s statewide mask mandate before it expires this weekend, his staff confirmed Wednesday.
“Our data has shown that mask wearing has contributed to our great success thus far in reducing the spread of the virus and helping more and more of our economy re-open rapidly including our schools,” Polis said in a statement provided to The Denver Post. “Therefore we expect the mask order to stay in place and support localized efforts to continue mask wearing and raise awareness about the importance of avoiding large groups. Masks and social distancing continue protecting the lives of Coloradans during this pandemic.”
The order — issued July 16 for one month — states that everyone 11 and older must wear a mask or other facial covering while in public indoor spaces, including retail stores. More than 30 U.S. states are under similar orders.
When Polis first ordered everyone to wear a mask, the state’s coronavirus case count and the number of daily virus-related hospitalizations were both growing. The number of people that those infected with the virus spread it to was, on average, 1.78 at that time in Colorado — better than during the state’s initial outbreak in March and April, but still troublingly high.