Glenwood Springs reinstates indoor mask mandate

Starting Wednesday, a citywide indoor mask mandate will go into effect as part of Glenwood Springs efforts to reduce the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 omicron variant.

Based on information provided by public health officials and COVID-19 data from local health care professionals, the city will require all people age 2 and older to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose while inside any public indoor space, a city news release states.

The citywide mask order could help reduce viral transmission in the face of a local surge in COVID-19 cases. Public health officials reported the omicron variant is more contagious than previous variants and is the leading variant of COVID-19 contracted across the country, the news release states.

In the last week, the number of COVID-19 tests returned with positive results doubled in Garfield County from approximately 8% to 16%, the news release states.

“Reducing infections is a critical regional concern because we are seeing a dramatic increase in cases and the omicron variant is so infectious,” Assistant City Manager Jenn Ooton said in the news release. “Requiring masks indoors is one of several precautions we can take to combat COVID, and we encourage folks to continue utilizing other strategies like getting tested, getting vaccinated and staying home if you’re sick.”

Carbondale was the only other Garfield County town to institute an indoor mask requirement during the initial height of the pandemic. Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson said Tuesday that there have not been any new discussions about a new mask ordinance but that it may come up at the Jan. 11 Board of Trustees meeting.

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