DENVER (KDVR) — The state health department says it needs more time to review new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on wearing masks. For now, the existing mask rules in Colorado remain in effect, including in many indoor settings.
This follows a major announcement Thursday from the CDC that fully-vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks in most public settings.
The state’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eric France, says Coloradans could expect new guidelines form the state “in the coming days” as the department reviews the CDC science and data around the decision. He spoke at a Department of Public Health and Environment news conference Thursday afternoon.
Many individual counties in Colorado have their own guidelines which supersede the state’s mask order.
The new CDC guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters but will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools, and other venues — even removing the need for masks or social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.
The CDC will also no longer recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds. The announcement comes as the CDC and the Biden administration have faced pressure to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated people — people who are two weeks past their last required COVID-19 vaccine dose — in part to highlight the benefits of getting the shot.
Walensky announced the new guidance on Thursday afternoon at a White House briefing, saying the long-awaited change is thanks to millions of people getting vaccinated — and based on the latest science about how well those shots are working.