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Colorado governor extends state mask mandate by 1 month

Colorado governor extends state mask mandate by 1 month
© Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images

Colorado Gov. Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana Colorado extends mask mandate, loosens restrictions for vaccinated Colorado state reps unanimously advance bill to allow to-go cocktails MORE (D) on Friday extended his state’s mask mandate by one month, bucking the trend of other states across the country that are rolling back their coronavirus restrictions.

Polis touted Colorado’s vaccination efforts but said prolonging the mask mandate would be critical in preventing a surge in cases as the nation at large sees an alarming spike in infections.

“Here in Colorado we are making incredible progress with getting vaccines into arms and protecting our most vulnerable, but until everyone can get the vaccine and our COVID cases are reduced, taking precautions to prevent a surge in cases and further spread of the disease is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do and helps keep everything open,” Polis said.

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“By continuing to wear our masks in public indoor settings around others, we can safely enjoy the activities we love and keep our economy open," he added. "Every community has been impacted differently by this pandemic, and we want to ensure this order is reflective of that. We’re almost there, Colorado, but we need to keep this up just a little bit longer.”

The executive order will mandate mask wearing in all schools, childcare centers, indoor children’s camps, public-facing state government facilities, congregate care facilities, prisons, jails, emergency medical and other health care settings.

Polis said that one in 207 people in Colorado are contagious with the coronavirus, while roughly 27 percent of residents have either received a vaccination or were previously infected.

“In the meantime, we must continue practicing vigilance by wearing masks especially if you aren’t yet fully vaccinated, practicing social distancing when in public and in the company of people with unknown vaccine status,” he said.

Colorado is tallying about 23.2 new cases per day per 100,000 people, according to the tracker COVID Act Now. The state is allowing all residents ages 16 and up to get a vaccine.

Many other states have loosened COVID-19 restrictions in the past couple of weeks. New York and New Jersey expanded indoor dining to 50 percent capacity, while Mississippi and Texas lifted all restrictions and scrapped their mask mandates.