Denver Set to Drop Vaccine, Mask Rules Amid Omicron’s ‘Downward Trajectory’

Denver Set to Drop Vaccine, Mask Rules Amid Omicron's 'Downward Trajectory' Denver Set to Drop Vaccine, Mask Rules Amid Omicron's 'Downward Trajectory'

A worker waits on Jan. 13 in a trailer at a drive-up COVID-19 testing site in east Denver. (David Zalubowski/AP)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Tuesday, 01 February 2022 06:43 PM

Denver will "not be extending" its public health order requiring vaccine identification cards or masks upon entry into businesses.

"Following extensive discussions with our regional partners as well as current health advice and the downward trajectory of cases, positivity and hospitalizations, Denver will not be extending our public health order," Mayor Michael Hancock said at a press conference on Monday. "So beginning Friday, people will no longer be required under the public health order to wear masks or show proof of vaccination for entry into a business in Denver."

Despite Hancock's comment, he noted that masks requirements in school and childcare centers will "remain in place for the time being."

"We simply feel it's important to keep our schools open and our children in class. Being in that classroom is critical to their development, so we want to make sure they are able to do so as safely as possible," he added.

In addition, Hancock stressed that private businesses are "well within their rights" to maintain mask and vaccine requirements if they wish.

But Bob McDonald, executive director of Denver's Department of Public Health and Environment, said that current "modeling makes it very clear that lifting the face covering order now is safe. Cases are going to continue to decline and what that says is that Omicron has run out of fuel within our community."

Along with the provision of public schools keeping mask mandates, Denver International Airport and Denver public transportation will still require them as well.