DENVER (KDVR) — Governor Jared Polis says an announcement is coming soon about COVID restrictions for the state’s large indoor venues.
Polis is warning Coloradans that the state is at a critical moment in the pandemic, saying at a press briefing Friday that 1 in every 48 Coloradans is infected with COVID-19, according to the latest modeling report.
Hospitalizations are also climbing, getting closer to the state’s all-time peak from fall 2020. So what does the state plan to do to slow the spread?
Will there be another mask mandate?
It sounds like there will not be a state-ordered mask mandate right now, but the state is getting ready to make an announcement about indoor venues. Some places have already begun to prepare for that.
“We’re working to make indoor events safer through vaccine requirements. You’ve seen what Kroenke Sports have done with Ball Arena,” Polis said at a COVID-19 press briefing on Friday. “We’re working with cities to roll that out for additional places where a lot of people congregate indoors.”
The governor would not say exactly what is coming, but we know some sort of guidance for indoor venues is brewing for large indoor gatherings. It comes after the Broncos announced they are strongly encouraging fans to wear masks while indoors at Empower Field, and Ball Arena and Paramount Theatre started requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test 72 hours before an event.
“There are already venues that have implemented vaccine passports like Ball Arena just implemented in the last couple of days. I don’t have anything to announce right now,” Polis said.
He did, however, go on to say we should expect to hear more in a day or two.
A source with the city of Denver’s health department said the city is prepared to comply with any state orders, but they are waiting for details like the rest of us.
Could capacity limits be on the way?
While we wait, we wondered if that could mean more capacity limits. The governor said better surveillance is more important right now.
“The more important factor is whether people are vaccinated or tested. There can be risk in whatever you do. Some Coloradans are avoiding going out, but if you are fully vaccinated, if you have your booster, the risk is more than 10 times less for you than it was last December during our height when really no one was vaccinated,” Polis said.
The rules at Ball Arena and the mask recommendations at Empower Field apply to everyone regardless of vaccination status. The companies behind the moves said they’re doing this to help the state’s overwhelmed healthcare systems.