BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A new face mask mandate is in effect for Boulder County and other counties across Colorado may soon follow suit. The CDC says all but two counties in Colorado are seeing a high or substantial level of COVID-19 transmission.
Only Mineral and Cheyenne counties have low transmission rates.
Boulder County’s mandate requires everyone ages two and older to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette is the site of the biggest recent outbreak in Boulder County. Six staff and 17 parishioners tested positive.
There have also been outbreaks in restaurants in Boulder and Louisville, a rehabilitation facility in Lafayette, and nursing homes in Boulder and Longmont.
“This is due to a recent surge of the Delta variant,” says Angela Simental with Boulder County Public Health.
She says Delta is twice as transmissible as other COVID variants, “We are trying to protect those who might not be eligible for the vaccine.”
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, statewide between July 26 and Aug. 26 (the most recent data available), 29,605 out of 40,237 new cases, 74% were among unvaccinated people.
Boulder County Public Health is also increasingly seeing cases among those vaccinated. Of the five employees who tested positive at a Louisville restaurant, all were vaccinated according to the restaurant owner. Four of the five people who were infected at a Longmont plumbing and heating company were also vaccinated. The county’s overall vaccination rate is 75%.
“We can’t really have a vaccine that is 100% effective,” says Simental.
But a recent study by the CDC found those who are unvaccinated are five times more likely to be infected and nearly 30 times more likely to be hospitalized.
“Aligning with CDC guidelines helps us protect people but it also helps us take care of our health care system so it doesn’t get overwhelmed and it also gives us the tools to keep our businesses and our schools open,” says Simental.
The CDC says, in just the last seven days, just over 460 people in Boulder County have tested positive and 64 have been hospitalized. The county says, at this point, it has adequate resources to handle the surge.