Mesa County isn’t alone in moving into being more open with public health guidelines related to the coronavirus.
But although many counties are loosening those guidelines, some things will remain in place statewide, such as wearing masks in certain places and requiring stricter requirements for large events.
Starting on Friday, Mesa County will allow all businesses and individuals to choose for themselves what guidelines to follow, but that doesn’t mean everyone can, Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday.
For some, such as those governed by specific licensing from the state, masks will be required at least until the governor’s current mask mandate expires at the beginning of May.
“Every county in the state has some form of mask mandate, it’s little different in different areas,” Polis said. “For personal services and haircuts and massages and schools and for public offices, there’s a statewide mask mandate. There’s other areas where it applies to even more folks. But no matter where you live, the best advice is to wear a mask.”
Mesa County officials have already said that state and federal entities are not subject to its resolution to more fully open up the county because those entities are required to follow state or federal guidelines.
Likewise, some local businesses owned by out-of-state corporations, such as chain stores, have established their own guidelines for their operations, and may continue to impose certain restrictions.
Polis said that despite the state’s decision to do away with its color-coded COVID-19 alert dial that determines what restrictions counties are to follow at a time when Colorado and other states are facing a possible fourth surge in new infections and hospitalizations because of new variants of the virus, the high percentage of people 60 and older who have been fully vaccinated bodes well.
The governor said more than 25% of all Coloradans are fully vaccinated, while more than 2 million others have received their first dose.
“The number of cases and hospitalizations will sadly continue to go up before they go down,” he said.