Governor, State Department of Health stress vaccines over the mask mandate

GLENDALE, Colo. (KDVR) – Leaders in the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment are asking people to wear masks indoors, but are not issuing another state-wide order to them.

Within the last week, six local health departments Governor Jared Polis and CDPHE wrote a letter asking for the mask mandate and a vaccine passport program to help bring the state’s hospitalization rate under control.

Just two days before this letter was dated, FOX31 asked Polis if he planned to issue a new mask mandate. He replied, “I urge any Coloradan, when indoors around others, to wear a mask.”

On Wednesday, in light of the letter and rising COVID-19 cases, CDPHE was asked if it would go against the governor’s wishes and issue stronger public health orders.

“We should all be wearing masks right now,” said Scott Bookman, Colorado’s COVID-19 Incident Commander. “Whether there is a mandate in place or not, this is a way to keep ourselves safe.”

Both Bookman and Polis point to new data showing how vaccines protect people in Colorado.

People who are fully vaccinated are 3.9 times less likely to get COVID-19, 10 times less likely to be hospitalized because of it and 13.4 times less likely to die from it, according to CDPHE.

“If we had… 90% fewer people in our hospitals, this would not even be a crisis,” Polis said.

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