During a press conference on November 23, Mayor Michael Hancock and public health officials representing several metropolitan counties (with the sharp exception of Douglas County) announced what was briefly a mask-and-wax mandate to combat COVID-19. The rule, which takes effect Nov. 24 in Denver, Jefferson, Adams and Arapahoe counties, requires that face wear be worn in a public indoor setting unless the company or venue in question has made arrangements with their particular county to check a patron’s vaccine. status before allowing access.
Hancock and his guests – Denver Department of Public Health and Environment CEO Bob McDonald, Jefferson County Public Health Director Dr. Dawn Comstock, Tri-County Public Health CEO Dr. John Douglas, Boulder County Public Health Deputy Director Lexi Nolen and Denver Health CEO Dr. Robin Wittenstein – stressed that such a move would be unnecessary if approximately 20 to 25 percent of the public (excluding newborns between the ages of five and eleven) had not made the decision to forgo vaccination. But Hancock, McDonald, Comstock and Wittenstein all specifically pointed to the absence of a nationwide edict regarding vaccinations and masking as a major reason why the counties had decided to act.
As Comstock put it: “When there are no government orders to protect the people of Colorado, it becomes crucial for us to work together to have orders that are consistent and consistent where possible to create a safer area. ”
McDonald used a particularly blunt language to rip off those who do not have a medical reason to skip vaccinations, but who have nevertheless chosen to do so. “I’ve heard all the reasons why people do not want to be vaccinated,” he said, before quoting people who feel they have a good immune system, think it’s their choice, or generally protest against mandates or vaccinepas. . But, he added, “we have about 1,200 people who said the things that are now reaching out for help in our hospital system because they are having trouble breathing.”
Comstock highlighted what she characterized as a “heartbreaking statistic”: More than 1,000 people in Jefferson County have now died from COVID-19. “On average, almost two of our neighbors die every single day,” she pointed out. “That’s unacceptable.”
Wittenstein painted a bleak portrait of a health care system on the verge of collapse, where people who have postponed treatment for other conditions during the pandemic now need immediate help because they have become more ill. She concluded her remarks with this: “My fear is that it could be any of us who would go into a hospital and need help and discover that the system designed to be there in our distress, unable to provide assistance. ”
Tri-County’s Douglas, meanwhile, admitted that mask claims and vaccine passes in his jurisdiction represent a “controversial and unpopular measure.” But he stressed that this mask-and-wax step must be taken to prevent hospital capacity from being exceeded during the holidays.
County measures are generally scheduled to remain in place until at least January 3, but they can be extended if conditions so require.
At the end of the introductory section, journalists were given the opportunity to ask questions, and several seemed doubtful whether the mask-and-wax mandate would accomplish much, given how their implementation would largely depend on voluntary compliance with both business owners and customers. (Enforcement options are available, but only if so-called “educational” efforts do not achieve their goals.) McDonald expressed confidence that most people will make the right choices, although he admitted that “a small non-compliance goes a long way” in helping the spread of the virus.
Which is now in its second Christmas season.