By Anica Padilla

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver and neighboring counties are extending the order requiring everyone 2 and older to wear a face covering indoors, or show proof of vaccination, through Feb. 3.

(credit: BARBARA GINDL via Getty Images)

If a business or venue can verify that at least 95% of people within the facility (including employees and customers) are fully vaccinated, then face coverings will not be required.

“As the Omicron variant continues to spread during this holiday season, and hospital capacity remains strained, we simply cannot afford to let up now,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said.

“After the public health order went into effect in November 2021, Denver’s one-week average positivity rate dropped to below 5%, but it has quickly started to rise in the last two weeks,” officials stated. “Cases and hospitalizations are expected to continue to increase as community transmission of the Omicron variant becomes prevalent. ”

Officials are also encouraging everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the booster dose.

“Boosters provide the highest level of protection against the Omicron variant and prevent against serious illness and hospitalization,” officials stated. “Everyone 16 years and older should get a booster dose six months after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

While breakthrough cases are possible, vaccination protects against severe illness and hospitalization. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, boosted Coloradans are 47 times less likely to be hospitalized than unvaccinated Coloradans.

 

Anica Padilla