The previous public health order was set to expire this week.

The Tri-County Health Department recently announced that the mask mandate for the three counties it oversees—Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties—has been extended indefinitely. The mandate requires face masks or coverings for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A previous public health order requiring masks was set to expire this week, but the Tri-County Health Department made the decision to extend it until further notice. 

The order requires face masks in indoor and outdoor spaces whenever six-foot social distancing is not maintained. There were no changes to the current order other than extending it “for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, or until amended or rescinded.”

“This approach is consistent with the one taken by many counties and municipalities in the Denver Metro area. As we enter our 'third wave,' we believe this is the best course of action since masks remain one of our most important tools in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, and will likely be needed until effective vaccines are widely available and utilized,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.

Municipalities and counties were allowed to opt-out of the mask order in July and that applies to this new order as well. Those that do opt-out will be required to follow the statewide mask mandate set by Colorado Governor Jared Polis and any other statewide orders that may be issued. 

Face-coverings are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as an effective method of containing and controlling the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing, handwashing, and disinfecting commonly-used surfaces are protections against spreading the virus. The CDC recommends cloth face-coverings for members of the public; medical-grade and N95 filtering masks should be saved for healthcare workers, first responders, and those who must be on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What do you think of the new mask mandate? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.