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Boulder County COVID-19 transmission remains high despite indoor mask mandate

Boulder County mask mandate
Posted at 9:08 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-25 02:18:21-04

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Expect to see signs on window displays about Boulder County's indoor mask mandate for a while longer.

The county implemented an indoor mask mandate three weeks ago, but its COVID-19 transmission still remains high.

Boulder County Public Health said it would stop requiring masks indoors if it saw 21 consecutive days of low or moderate transmission. According to the CDC, transmission has been high the entire month.

"Delta really just changed the whole landscape," BCPH spokesperson Angela Simental said. "It's rapid and we had to respond rapidly."

According to data from BCPH, there were about 62.7 cases a day last week. The week prior, there were 73 cases per day. The seven-day cumulative incidence rate as recently as Sept. 20 was 165 cases per 100,000 people. Low or moderate transmission means fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 people in seven days.

"It is slowly going down," Simental said.

It's hard to predict, however, how soon BCPH expects the numbers to go down because of the unpredictability of the delta variant.

Downtown Louisville business owner Jenni Hlawatsch says the mandate hasn't been difficult to enforce as most people are familiar with it.

"Occasionally, we get people from out of town that are kind of like, 'Wait, what?' But I don't feel like it's been that big of a problem," she said.

Her shop, The Singing Cook, had to shut down for six weeks at the beginning of the pandemic, so she's willing to do whatever it takes to remain open, even if it means requiring masks.

"I think we all wish we could take them off and be done," Hlawatsch said. "Unfortunately, as long as there are people out there who don't want to be kind to their neighbors and think of themselves first, I think we're going to be stuck here."

Customers Denver7 spoke with say they don't mind wearing the masks as long as it means keeping businesses open.

"I really, really look forward to not having that mask in position," Boulder resident Steve Erickson said. "But I'm willing to do the prudent thing to try to slow [the spread] down."