Face coverings

College students Colin Berg (left), Connor Dreher and Brady Bowman stroll through downtown Boulder in mid-November wearing matching neck gaiters. Some research suggests the thin material used in gaiters does not block as much of the coronavirus as cloth face masks do, even when worn correctly, doubled over and covering the nose and mouth.

Boulder County’s public health order requiring face masks in certain spaces is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

Boulder County Public Health opted to let the mask mandate expire based on the county’s current high vaccination rates and low case rates, the department said in a release. 

As of Thursday, 74% of the county’s eligible population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Boulder County vaccine dashboard.

"We are taking enormous strides forward in our comeback from COVID,” said Camille Rodriguez, Boulder County Public Health’s executive director. “I am so proud of our community for sticking with us. … This next step gets us all closer to doing the things we love.”

Previously, Boulder County required everyone to wear masks in schools, child care centers, children’s camps, congregate care facilities, jails and health care facilities. Beginning Friday, the county will follow the state’s mask requirements.

Under the state’s guidelines, masks are only required for those 12 and older who are not fully vaccinated in schools, child care centers, children’s camps, congregate care facilities, jails and health care facilities.

Rodriguez said Boulder County Public Health still strongly recommends masks be worn indoors by everyone who is unvaccinated and older than 2 years old, and that residents maintain social distancing and hand-washing practices.

The department suggests individual businesses consider requiring masks inside until the county has reached at least an 80% vaccination rate among the eligible population.