Boulder County ends mask mandate, joining other Front Range counties

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Masks required, and no seating, at Trident Booksellers in Boulder, Monday, May 18, 2020, during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Boulder County Board of Health voted Monday night to rescind its indoor mask mandate, effectively ending face covering requirements for most of the Front Range.

Under the new guidelines, private businesses and K-12 schools will not require masks indoors beginning Feb. 18. However, public health officials still recommend masking for anyone 2 and older until case transmission becomes mild. Individual businesses and schools in the county will be able to set more strict guidelines. 

“Despite those positive trends, not all the news is good. The number of COVID-19 deaths in Boulder County continues to increase and, although hospitalizations are decreasing, new COVID-19 cases continue to add strain to the county’s already over-taxed health care providers,” BCPH executive director Camille Rodriguez said in a release

The mask mandate’s removal comes as COVID-19 trends, including deaths and hospitalizations, in the state drop after a prolonged wave brought on by the omicron variant. Even so, state health officials say transmission is still higher than they’d prefer. According to CDC data, a vast majority of Colorado counties are still seeing high community transmission

What to know about COVID, testing, masks and more in Colorado right now:

Boulder was the last remaining county in the urban corridor with a mask policy in place. Denver, Broomfield and several mountain counties all voted to end mask mandates in recent weeks.

As of Tuesday morning, the University of Colorado Boulder has not announced any changes to its indoor mask mandate. Its sister campuses in Denver and Colorado Springs have not ended their mask mandate, even after the counties they’re in dropped theirs. 

Masks will still be required on public transportation and in airports, per federal guidelines.