AURORA | The public health authority for the Aurora region announced Tuesday residents are still required to wear masks indoors and sometimes outdoors amid rising COVID-19 cases.
The Tri-County Health Department will extend its mask mandate indefinitely, executive director Dr. John Douglas said. Cities and counties that opted out of the mask rules, such as Douglas County, are still exempt from the rules, although they must abide by state mandates.
Douglas said in a statement the extended rules will stand “for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, or until amended or rescinded.”
“This approach is consistent with the one taken by many counties and municipalities in the Denver Metro area,” Douglas said. “As we enter our ‘third wave,’ we believe this is the best course of action since masks remain one of our most important tools in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, and will likely be needed until effective vaccines are widely available and utilized.”
Tri-County’s Board of Health narrowly imposed the mask rules in July. Experts have generally agreed that cloth masks and effective face coverings can help stem the spread of the new coronavirus.
Douglas County’s board of commissioners quickly exempted that county from the mask rules.
Tri-County’s renewed order comes after public health authorities tightened social distancing rules in Arapahoe County, Adams County and Denver. The region and the U.S. at large is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, although, locally, hospitalizations and deaths remain much lower than the “first wave” of cases in the spring.