Adams and Arapahoe counties end mask mandate, move to ‘level clear’

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AURORA | On Sunday Adams and Arapahoe counties moved to Level Clear on the COVID safety, after and announcement last week by the Tri-County Health Department.

The “clear” phase is the lowest level on the simplified COVID-19 dial, which was rolled out last month by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Under the new level, the counties will be in a 90-day observation period where restaurants, businesses and other facilities will be able to operate at 100% capacity.

During the observation period Tri-County will “closely monitor” conditions in the two counties, which cover the bulk of Aurora, according to the agency. Public health workers will pay particular attention to hospital admissions, which can be a leading indicator that case rates are rising to unsafe levels in a community. Douglas County opted out of the modified dial restrictions last month.

The counties may be moved to a more restrictive level if hospital admissions rise above two admissions per 100,000 people, a rate that has not been surpassed in either county since January, the release said.

Tri-County’s mask order expired on Sunday, and a new one will not be put in place besides the state’s new mask-wearing order. The modified order says that vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks in most public settings, though it recommended that unvaccinated people continue to do so.

Tri-County encourages people to get vaccinated if they have not done so already in order to protect themselves and keep case rates down. A number of sites are still offering COVID-19 vaccinations. A full list can be found here. 

“While the move to Level Clear is an encouraging step in this ongoing pandemic, it is extremely important for those still unvaccinated to learn about the benefits of being vaccinated and seek opportunities to do so,” the release from Tri-County said.

According to its COVID data dashboard, 54.4% of Adams County residents have at least one vaccine dose and 41.3% are fully vaccinated. In Arapahoe County, 56.1% have at least one dose and 44.4% are fully vaccinated.

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