Larimer County to end mask mandate in 2 weeks


Collegian | Devin Cornelius

(Collegian Photo Illustration)

Serena Bettis, Content Managing Editor

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment announced Monday afternoon that the current public indoor mask mandate will end Feb. 12.

The press release from LCDHE cited “improving COVID-19 conditions” and increased access to high-quality masks and at-home COVID-19 tests as reasons for the end of the mandate. According to the release, ending the mandate in two weeks “will allow for the omicron wave to further retreat and gives families, local businesses and schools time to prepare for the transition.”


Since Jan. 14, the county’s seven-day COVID-19 case rate has decreased by more than 38%, the release said, and 20% of patients in Larimer County’s intensive care units are positive for COVID-19. According to the release, during the wave of the COVID-19 delta variant, over 50% of ICU occupancy was COVID-19 positive patients.

“While the use of face masks in crowded indoor settings has been an important mitigation measure over the past two years, I believe it is the right time to end the requirements based on the positive trends we’re seeing with the omicron variant,” Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales said in the press release.

The release said Gonzales will still “strongly recommend” the use of masks in crowded indoor spaces to prevent outbreaks. According to LCDHE, data from the Colorado School of Public Health shows that an estimated 78% of Colorado residents have immunity against the omicron variant, and about 42% of all residents have been infected with omicron.

“While infection from natural immunity may not last as long as that from vaccines, it will likely last at least three months, providing a bridge to the warmer months of the year when COVID transmission is less of a risk,” the release said.

LCDHE said state and federal mask mandates will continue in health care facilities, on public transportation services and in jails, prisons and shelters.

Colorado State University continues to require masks in indoor spaces unless alone in a dorm room or office.

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