By Danielle Chavira

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Jefferson County Public Health announced face masks will not be required in outdoor public spaces in the county. The change takes effect April 5 until May 6 unless otherwise changed.

Public health officials in the county say the move is in line with a new state executive order. Masks are still required in indoor spaces where 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained among non-household members.

(credit: CBS)

“While we are at a place where we can remove the outdoor mask requirements, we are asking our residents and visitors to continue wearing their masks indoors a bit longer so we can stay on the right path. After vaccination, masking and social distancing remain the most effective weapons we have against COVID-19 transmission,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director, JCPH.

Last month, the county was at risk of moving to level yellow because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases. On April 5, the county says that risk is still there.

“Jeffco has once again breached the upper limits of the buffer zone which enables us to continue operating under Dial 3.0 Level Blue, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment may move Jeffco to Level Yellow this week. Thus, indoor masking is needed to help keep those still trying to get a vaccine safe, and to prevent another surge so we can work towards a summer that looks more like normal,” Comstock said.

When a county goes above the buffer zone, Comstock says the state sets a five-day clock before a county is moved to the next level the dial.

The county says variants are still a big concern. Data from the Colorado School of Public Health shows about 27% of the state is immune because of vaccination and/or prior infection. Experts say 70-85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus.

Boulder County Public Health and Tri-County Public Health also announced they would no longer require masks be worn outdoors.

Danielle Chavira