The Denver metro area finally got its wish and reinstated an indoor mask order at businesses until sometime next year.
Local officials did it without a statewide mandate by the governor. The counties affected include Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, and Jefferson.
However, businesses seeking exemptions from the mask mandate can do so if they demand vaccine passports of their patrons.
“We are issuing what I like to call a ‘vax or mask’ mandate,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said at a news conference. “Either your venue or business is requiring proof of vaccination or you choose to be a place where only masks are required.”
Babies can’t be vaccinated, so toddlers older than two must be masked, except in Jefferson County where the minimum age is three years old.
The “vax or mask” mandate will disproportionately affect minorities in Colorado, especially the Hispanic population that continues to lag in vaccination numbers.
According to federal data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 38% of Hispanics in Colorado had been vaccinated as of Nov. 15.
That’s compared to 71% of white people, 64% of Asians, and 62% of Black people in Colorado who have been vaccinated.