By Anica Padilla

DENVER (CBS4) — In a news conference on Monday, Gov. Jared Polis said he expected to extend Colorado’s mask mandate through mid-April. The public health order was set to expire on Saturday, April 3, but Gov. Polis indicated he would likely extend it by two weeks.

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“We’re likely to have about a two week extension of that mask order,” Gov. Polis said Monday.

READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Face Mask Mandate Could Be Subject To Exemption With Update To Dial

Polis said that in mid-April, the state would turn over control of most COVID-19 restrictions to the local authorities.

“Really the only types of events that will remain under state guidance will be large scale events, thousands, of people together,” Polis said. “Doesn’t mean they can’t occur, it just means that there needs to be thoughtful health guidelines like there are for the Rockies, at Coors Field, like there are for other major events. Otherwise, that’ll be returning local [guidelines].”

Polis urged people to continue to practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings for “another month or two.”

“If you’re vaccinated, you absolutely can be confident and go about more and do your thing. But if you’re not, the virus is still widespread in the state of Colorado and across the country,” Polis stated. “You don’t want to get this deadly virus in the final few weeks and months of the pandemic, just as you’re becoming eligible for a vaccination. So let’s be careful, Colorado.”

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a new update to the COVID-19 Dial last week, which includes the potential for some counties to get an exemption to the statewide mandate.

The CDPHE still encourages everyone to wear a mask. Experts say not only should people keep wearing masks at this point in the pandemic, they may want to keep them for protection in the fall from other respiratory viruses.

 

Anica Padilla