Cities and counties will not extend the public health order, which requires masks in public indoor spaces, to expire on Thursday.
DENVER – Denver will not extend its indoor mask mandate, which is set to expire on Thursday.
Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) executive director Bob McDonald made the announcement Monday during an update on the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Starting Friday, people will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination under a public health order to wear a mask or enter a business in Denver,” Hancock said.
Hancock cited the continued decline in COVID cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates as reasons why Denver decided to end the order.
Public health orders requiring the wearing of masks in schools and childcare facilities remain in place until further notice.
“We just feel it’s important to keep our schools and our kids open in the classroom,” Hancock said. “Being in that orbit is important to their development, so we want to make sure they’re able to do it as safely as possible.”
Hancock and McDonald’s both said they expect to avoid any similar mask mandates in the future, but if COVID metrics reach relevant levels, another order could be placed.
He also urged residents to respect businesses and other places that continue to have proof of needing masks or vaccinations even after the order ends.
“The two years have been incredibly difficult for all of us,” Hancock said. “We need a little less anger and gluttony, and a little more understanding, for people toward each other. So please, let’s be peaceful and understanding with each other as we make this transition.”
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The city of Denver said on Friday it would “likely” end its public health order this week.
“As we approach February 3, we are analyzing the data and it appears that we will be able to dismantle the public health system,” the city said in a statement to 9NEWS. “We are encouraged by the continued decline in case rates, positivity and hospitalizations in Denver and throughout the metro area. We will be speaking with our regional partners over the weekend.”
The Denver public health order took effect in November and was previously scheduled to expire on January 3, but the city extended the order due to “increasing cases of Covid-19 and the emergence of the Omicron variant in Colorado,” according to a news release.
RELATED: Tri-County Health to discuss mask mandate ending Monday
The Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) will also discuss ending its mask mandate during a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.
TCHD, which covers Adams and Arapaho counties, also has a mask mandate set to expire on Friday. Those mandates cover schools, childcare facilities, and indoor public spaces.
The health department said the mask requirement could end “soon” on February 4.
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