Denver businesses create options for clientele as city plans to drop 'mask or vax' requirement

Denver businesses create options for clientele as city plans to drop 'mask or vax' requirement
Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 31, 2022

DENVER — As Denver and other counties prepare to lift masking requirements in the coming days, some business owners are creating plans to accommodate clientele.

"We have a lot of pregnant women in our community, we have people who are immunocompromised or live with someone who is immunocompromised," said Joy Koziol, director of studio operations for Fierce45. "Lots of our clients have kids who are not able to be vaccinated yet."

Fierce45, a high-intensity pilates franchise, serves more than 1,000 clients across six locations in the Denver metro area.

Koziol said as city mandates have evolved throughout the pandemic, the Fierce45 community has tried to evolve too.

"Currently, we have two class types — either 100% vaccinated classes, where clients do not have to wear a mask, or 100% mask-required classes, where clients do not have to provide proof of vaccination," she said.

On Monday, following Denver's announcementthat the "mask or vax" requirement for businesses would be dropped this Friday, Koziol said she and the franchise team prepared to introduce an additional class type.

"We will add an additional, third, class type, which will be mask optional with no proof of vaccination required," she said.

During Monday's press briefing, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the city's decision was rooted in data, citing the downward trajectory of cases, positivity and hospitalizations.

Masking will remain a requirement for Denver-area schools and child care facilities.

"If we lift that (mask requirement) and there are outbreaks ... those kids may have to quarantine," said Bob McDonald, Executive Director of Denver's Department of Public Health and Environment.

Dr. Dylan Luyten, the medical director of emergency services for Swedish Medical Center, expressed gratitude the city had reached this milestone but encouraged people to continue protecting themselves on a case-by-case basis.

"Folks should take precautions accordingly," he said. "If you're going to be in an enclosed environment with other people ...if you're, for example, on an airplane or traveling or really can't know who around you may or may not be vaccinated, it would be prudent to continue to consider wearing a mask."

He added that vaccinations are one of the best ways people can protect themselves.

"I think we're always needing to adapt to whatever the current conditions are —- the good news about the current Omicron variant is that for people who are fully vaccinated and boosted, the morbidity and risk is very, very low." Luyten said.