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Mask mandate in effect for Larimer County as ICU bed capacity surpasses 100%

Larimer Co mask mandate.jpg
Posted at 11:56 AM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 13:56:33-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — As of noon Wednesday, Larimer County residents ages 3 and up must wear a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status.

Last week, the county announced the decision was due to hospitals being "overburdened."

"I didn’t think about that this morning, so I need to get that back on top of my brain," Larimer County resident Chandra Mucha said about wearing a mask.

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) currently shows the ICU beds capacity is at 105% with 92 COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

"I think if the numbers dictate, tell us that it’s important to wear a mask, that we should wear a mask," said Beth Schabem.

Larimer County is low on the vaccine levels with only 61% fully vaccinated. Mucha said she doesn’t think this mandate will be the rude awakening that the remaining 39% needs to get their shots.

"I'm not hopeful, because I don’t think people who decided not to get it will get it now," Mucha said.

Many small businesses, like Fort Collins Donut Company (FOCO DOCO), have already been preparing for the looming mandate.

"We’ve done this before. There was definitely a little push-back last time but we just really think it’s the least we can do to keep everybody safe — our staff, our customers, everybody," said FOCO DOCO owner Megan Barghols.

LCDHE officials said the public health order will remain in place until the county has met the following metrics for 21 consecutive days:

  1. Less than 65 COVID-19 patients in Larimer County hospitals
  2. ICU capacity at less than 90% of usual and customary levels
  3. A 7-day case rate of less than 300 cases per 100,000 people.
  4. A 7-day positivity rate of less than 10%

Barghols said she hopes the community will rally to get those numbers where it needs to be.

"I'm really thinking everyone’s just going to wear a mask and come together and do the right thing," said Barghols.