After Thursday, Feb. 3, Denver’s “vax or mask” mandate will expire. In a press conference on Monday, Jan. 31, Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced that Denver will not be extending the public health order. With 78% of the city’s population fully vaccinated, a drop in COVID-19 cases and a decline in hospitalizations, health officials believe that now is an appropriate time to begin moving forward.
Starting on Friday, Feb. 4, masks and proof of vaccination are no longer required for entry into businesses — but businesses still have the right to require it themselves. Face coverings will continue to be required in K-12 schools, child-care facilities and on public transportation in Denver.
Adams and Arapahoe counties’ mask mandates expire this week and will not be renewed either. Additionally, the board of the Tri-County Health Department voted to lift indoor mask orders for schools in Adams and Arapahoe counties.
“Let me be clear, this is still a public health emergency,” Hancock said during the press conference. “Denver, from this point forward, will be transitioning into a sustainable management of COVID as a programmatic function of our department of health.”
The public health order was last renewed on Jan. 3 due to rising COVID-19 cases and the omicron variant’s takeover.
“Omicron has run out of fuel within our community. It’s safe now to lift our face covering,” Bob McDonald, the executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, said during the press conference.
Other counties are following suit: Summit County’s mask order ended last week without renewal, and Larimer County’s mandates will expire Saturday, Feb. 12.