NewsLocal News

Actions

CDC recommending masks go back on for vaccinated in high transmission areas

mask.jpg
Posted at 7:29 PM, Jul 27, 2021

DENVER — We thought we were done with them, but we were wrong. Masks are back.

"We both did what we are supposed to be doing, trying to move forward as a society. It doesn’t seem to be moving in that direction. So, it is disappointing," Parker Brutus said, sharing his frustration with possibly having to wear a mask after being vaccinated.

It's been less than three months since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said those who are vaccinated didn't need to wear a mask. Their new guidelines say everyone, even the fully vaccinated, should wear masks in public, indoor settings in areas of high transmission. The hope is to stop the spread of the delta variant.

"I'm a little frustrated people aren’t getting vaccinated. It seems like a simple answer; we should all just get vaccinated," said Andrea Shomo, a medical worker.

Following the CDC's announcement, a representative for Denver said, "Given the recommendation is for high transmission areas, I do not believe anything would change today — given Denver's numbers are still good."

However, there are parts of the state that are part of the high or substantial transmission areas. The most recent data on the CDC's website of case rates in the U.S. shows 38 counties in Colorado are considered to have high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates where the CDC recommends that masks should be worn.

Where in Colorado does the CDC recommend wearing masks?

Areas in the northwest corner of the state are entirely red, which means they are at the highest level of transmission rates of 100 or more new cases per 100,000 people. A major portion of southwestern Colorado is also at the highest transmission rate.

The Denver metro area has several counties — Larimer, Weld, Adams, Douglas, Teller and El Paso Counties — in orange, or the substantial level of transmission rates, which means there are 50 to 99.99 new cases per 100,000 people. Mountain counties, like Summit, Grand and Eagle, are also at the substantial transmission rate.

The only Denver metro counties in the yellow, or moderate, range are Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, Elbert and Arapahoe Counties.

Only eight counties in the state are at the lowest level of transmission rates, which is blue: Jackson, Gunnison, Dolores, San Juan, Logan, Sedgewick, Kiowa and Baca Counties.

As kids are about to school, the CDC said it also wants students and staff to mask up.

Denver Public schools told Denver7: "We are continuing to work with our health partners to determine what safety protocols will be needed for the 2021-22 school year. While we anticipate a return to more normal operations, it is possible that some requirements (such as the use of masks) will continue at the start of the school year. As we have more information, we will share that information."

Denver's new superintendent, Alex Marrero, told Denver7 Monday he expects to make a decision about the rules for wearing masks in about a week.

“It’s been a tremendous amount of those who want to be masked universally and others who are saying, 'Please don’t do this to my child,' or 'I’m not going to send them in if you do this to my child,'” Marrero said.

JeffCo Public Schools also provided the following statement in response to the CDC's new recommendations:

"We are aware of this modified guidance from CDC and are digesting what this means along with everyone else. Jeffco has not yet made any announcement about our plans for return to school. We were anticipating that the situation was going to be evolving and have been in dialog with Jeffco Public Health, as well as other metro districts, our employee associations, and community. We anticipate making our decisions and informing our community by the end of week. We will be watching the press conference for more information to consider in the mix."

In Tuesday's CDC conference call, it was recommended community leaders encourage vaccination.

When asked three times on his thoughts regarding the new CDC guidelines and the potential for a mask mandate, Gov. Jared Polis deflected questions back to telling people the need to get vaccinated.

"Just remember, the mask is not as effective as the vaccine. The vaccine is widely available and is 95% effective," Polis said.

A spokesperson said in a statement: "We are reviewing this new guidance from the CDC. Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19. Colorado has made the vaccine readily available, and it is free. We encourage all eligible Coloradans to get vaccinated without delay."

On Monday, Mayor Michael Hancock was asked about the potential for a new mask mandate as the delta variant grows. He said his hope was that Denver wouldn't have to go back to old restrictions but couldn't completely rule it out.

"We leave everything on the table. The reality is we have to keep our toolbox flush with options to protect the people and that’s what we did last year and that’s what we’ll have to do going forward," Hancock said.

Following the CDC's announcement, a representative for Denver said, "Given the recommendation is for high transmission areas, I do not believe anything would change today — given Denver's numbers are still good."

However, there are parts of the state that are part of the high or substantial transmission areas. The most recent data on the CDC's website of case rates in the U.S. shows 38 counties in Colorado are considered to have high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates where the CDC recommends that masks should be worn.

Where in Colorado does the CDC recommend wearing masks?

Areas in the northwest corner of the state are entirely red, which means they are at the highest level of transmission rates of 100 or more new cases per 100,000 people. A major portion of Southwestern Colorado is also at the highest transmission rate.

The Denver metro area has several counties — Larimer, Weld, Adams, Douglas, Teller and El Paso counties — in orange, or the substantial level of transmission rates, which means there are 50 to 99.99 new cases per 100,000 people. Mountain counties, like Summit, Grand and Eagle counties, are also at the substantial transmission rate.

The only Denver metro counties in the yellow, or moderate, range are Denver, Boulder, Jefferson, Elbert and Arapahoe counties.

Only eight counties in the state are at the lowest level of transmission rates, which is blue: Jackson, Gunnison, Dolores, San Juan, Logan, Sedgewick, Kiowa and Baca counties.