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Colorado local mask mandates will beat back COVID, officials hope

Colorado’s prime pandemic official downplayed the potential for bringing again a statewide masks mandate or different restrictions to quell the state’s fifth wave of COVID-19.

Earlier this week, the chief medical officer for the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Setting stated the state was making ready for the potential for new mandates if native well being departments and particular person companies don’t take motion to rein within the virus’ unfold.

On Wednesday, Scott Bookman, the state’s COVID-19 incident commander, stated choices ought to occur on the native stage, given counties are experiencing totally different ranges of transmission. No particular level, resembling the share of hospital beds out there dipping under a sure threshold, has been set to set off state intervention, he stated.

“We nonetheless imagine that native management and native orders are the easiest way to make sure the right mitigation measures are in place,” he stated.

The state is constant to speak with hospitals and native well being departments about find out how to handle the surge in COVID-19 infections, Bookman stated. He pointed to Larimer County’s choice to reimpose a masks mandate final week for instance of management.

Over the previous week, Colorado has had a median of 959 acute-care beds — the type used for common hospital care — and about 125 intensive-care beds out there any given day, Bookman stated. On the December peak, about 1,800 acute-care beds had been out there, as a result of whereas there have been extra COVID-19 sufferers, fewer folks had been within the hospital due to accidents or different sicknesses, he stated.

“At this level, we’re beginning to see actual, actual tight capability in a number of elements of the state,” he stated.

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