Larimer County to reinstate mask mandate next week

FORT COLLINS — Beginning Oct. 20, masks must be worn in all Larimer County indoor public spaces due to an increased threat from the COVID-19 delta variant, according to a new Larimer County Department of Health and Environment order. 

Exceptions will be made for those under 3 years old and for people who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.

Local intensive-care units have been operating for a month at or above 100% capacity and vaccinations have slowed down in the country according to the county.

“Larimer County hospitals are being overburdened and we cannot allow this to continue indefinitely. Our hospitals need relief so they can swiftly and adequately treat all urgent medical needs in our community, ” Larimer County public health director Tom Gonzales said in the order. “Vaccination is the best way out of this pandemic, but 35% of Larimer County’s population remains unvaccinated against COVID-19. Universal mask-wearing is the next best prevention tool we have to reduce the strain on our hospitals.”

“The order will remain in place until Larimer County has met the four metrics below for 21 consecutive days, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Larimer County Public Health Director:” 

  • Fewer than 65 COVID-19 patients in the Larimer County hospitals.
  • Intensive care unit utilization at less than 90% of usual and customary levels.
  • Larimer County 7-day case rate per 100,000 residents of fewer than 300.
  • Larimer County 7-day test positivity rate of less than 10%.

“We are in a battle with a virus and the sooner we again collectively fight this virus the sooner masks will be a thing of our past,” Gonzales said.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC