All about that mask – what you need to know about recent changes

May 5, 2021

During this pandemic, local, state and federal public health and executive orders have resulted in a patchwork of different rules. Let’s break it down for you..,

Summary – masks in the Roaring Fork Valley

While there are nuances between the different municipalities/jurisdictions, generally within the Roaring Fork Valley if you are over the age of two and out in public in some manner – wear a mask. There may be exceptions for when there is the ability to maintain more than 6 feet from those not in your household, but this varies by area and by specific situations (details below). Circumstances are subject to change. Most mask orders either extend through early June, or do not yet have an expiration date (open ended order).

Below is a more in-depth look at each jurisdiction, with details, exceptions and links to the official language for the different mask/face covering mandates currently in effect. The bold portion reflects the main takeaway.

Federal

TAKEAWAY: Masks are required if you plan on using a taxi, bus, airplane or entering a transportation hub, including an airport or bus terminal.

Details

People must wear masks that cover both the mouth and nose when awaiting, boarding, traveling on, or disembarking public conveyances (e.g. airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares). Locally, this mandate applies to federally regulated forms of  transportation, including RFTA buses and the Aspen-Pitkin County airport. There is no set expiration for this CDC Order.

Additional details are outlined on the CDC website.

State

TAKEAWAY: Through June 3, 2021, masks are required if you are ten years of age or older, and you are in a public indoor space in Colorado. Local communities may have additional mask restrictions that must be followed. E.g. Basalt’s mask mandate will be in effect beyond the state’s, applies to individuals over the age of two, and does not have a vaccination exception.

State exception: If 80% of the individuals in the space have shown proof of vaccination individuals are permitted to remove their masks in public indoor spaces (again – if there isn’t a more restrictive local order in place. 

Details

A mandatory mask-wearing requirement for Colorado first went into effect in July 2020 and recently was amended in Executive Order D 2021 095 on May 2, 2021. The current requirement is set to expire on June 3, 2021.

The updated Executive Order will continue to require mask-wearing for all counties in schools (including extracurricular activities), child care centers, indoor children’s camps, public-facing state government facilities, emergency medical and other healthcare settings, personal services and limited healthcare settings as defined by Public Health Order (PHO) 20-36, congregate care facilities, prisons, and jails.

In counties with one-week disease incidence rates over 35 per 100,000 — formerly known in Dial 3.0 as blue, yellow, orange, red, and purple counties — masks must also be worn in public indoor settings where 10 or more unvaccinated individuals or individuals of unknown vaccination status are present.

Individuals are permitted to remove their masks in public indoor spaces if 80% of the individuals in the space have shown proof of vaccination, even if there are 10 or more unvaccinated individuals in the space.

Local communities may have additional mask restrictions.

Additional details on the CDPHE website.

Locally

Town of Basalt

TAKEAWAY: Through June 8, 2021, masks are required if you are two years of age or older, and you are in a place of business OR are in any public space where you are unable to maintain safe social distance, regardless of vaccination status.

Town council extended its public health order requiring face coverings until June 8, 2021.

Details

The order is as follows – All persons shall wear Face Coverings:

  1. When entering and while inside areas of a place of business open to the public.
  2. In such other public indoor or outdoor places where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing (e.g. 6 or more feet separation) from others not of their own household, except for momentary circumstances to accept payment, deliver goods, walk or ride past another person, or perform otherwise necessary tasks.”

Additional details in The Aspen Times article.

Eagle County

TAKEAWAY: A mask is required if you are two years of age or older, and you are in a place of business OR are in a public space where you are unable to maintain safe social distance, regardless of vaccination status. Order expiration TBD.

Details

Eagle County currently requires face coverings for those over the age of two:

  1. All persons, regardless of vaccination status, shall wear face coverings when entering and while inside of a place of business or mode of transportation open to the public and in such indoor or outdoor locations where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing (six or more feet separation) from other persons who do not live in the same residence..  

Exception – Face Coverings are not required:

  • For children under the age of two years
  • For persons for whom a face covering would cause specific and demonstrable injury or impairment due to an existing health condition or disability
  • For persons eating or drinking in a Bar or Restaurant only during the period of time such persons are actually eating or drinking. 
  • Within an indoor workplace setting when the general public is not present AND persons can maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from other people at all times.

Additional details on the Eagle County COVID-19 website.

Pitkin County

Masks are required if you are two years of age or older, and entering or moving within any public indoor space OR are in a public outdoor space where you are unable to maintain safe social distance, regardless of vaccination status. Order expiration TBD.

Details

Masks are required to be worn when entering or moving within any public indoor space, while using or waiting to use public (buses, light-rail) or non-personal (taxis, car services, ride-shares) transportation services, and while outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from another person who’s not of the same household is not feasible. 

Additional details on the Pitkin County COVID-19 website.

Considerations for businesses

TAKEAWAY: Businesses should start thinking now about what comes next for their organization once government issued mask mandates go away.

At some point, federal, state and local mask mandates will be rescinded. Businesses will need to start considering how they will want to manage mask wearing within their organization – both for their employees and for the public. Businesses do have the right to have mask requirements in place beyond those implemented by local government.

Only the business can make this decision, and be sure to clearly communicate expectations with employees, managers and customers.