[Media Advisory from Boulder County Public Health]
Boulder County Public Health strongly recommends all individuals 2+ wear a mask indoors in public due to Delta variant surge.
Boulder County, CO – Due to the Delta variant causing a surge in COVID-19 cases, Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) strongly recommends that all individuals 2+ wear masks in all indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.
On Aug.11, just 16 days after moving into substantial transmission on July 26, Boulder County moved into high transmission, which is the highest level of transmission of COVID-19 under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transmission tracker. The CDC recommends that all individuals, including vaccinated individuals, wear a mask indoors in public in counties with substantial or high transmission.
“Cases of COVID-19 are surging in Boulder County due to the Delta variant. We are continuing to follow a variety of metrics, including the CDC’s guidance, data and recommendations that will help us protect the health of all people, keep our businesses open and preserve our hospital and healthcare resources,” said Camille Rodriguez, BCPH Executive Director. “In line with CDC recommendations, Boulder County Public Health strongly recommends that all individuals wear masks indoors in public due to prevalence of the Delta variant, which is highly transmissible and might cause more severe illness than prior strains in unvaccinated persons, including in younger populations.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) first detected the Delta variant in Colorado in April of this year. On July 18, CDPHE variant tracking indicated that the Delta variant is responsible for more than 95% of new COVID-19 cases in Colorado.
As the COVID-19 landscape evolves with the Delta variant, BCPH is monitoring cases, testing, outbreaks, hospitalizations, deaths and other metrics as well as working closely with CDPHE, our healthcare partners and monitoring CDC guidance and CDC metrics.
BCPH’s goals are to prevent unnecessary deaths and significant illness, particularly as we see more information regarding the high rate of long-term symptoms in COVID-19 patients, and to preserve our healthcare system capacity.
As Public Health Order 2021-4 sunsets on Aug. 15 at 11:59 p.m., the county will no longer look only at hospital admissions to dictate levels on the prior state dial. BCPH is actively working to define a robust set of metrics that will have indicators that match the transmission landscape set by Delta.
“Previously, hospital admissions dictated the dial, but given that the Delta variant is quickly changing conditions, we must look at the evolving data and information concerning Delta to formulate the best strategies to safely keep our community open,” Rodriguez added.
BCPH encourages everyone eligible (12+) to get a vaccine as soon as possible since vaccines are effective at fighting variants, and strongly recommends wearing a face covering while indoors.
Concerns about the Delta variant:
- The Delta variant is the predominant strain in Colorado
- The Delta variant is two to three times more transmissible than the strain circulating last summer
- On average, people infected with the Delta variant had 1,000 times more copies of the virus in respiratory tract as compared to those with other strains
- Someone catching the Delta variant is more likely to become infectious sooner and spreading the virus earlier in the course of the infection
- CDPHE tracks variant data information