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Public Health - News

Posted on: July 29, 2021

In Alignment with CDC Guidelines, JCPH Strongly Encourages Wearing a Mask Indoors, Regardless of Vax

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Jefferson County, Colo. — On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance recommending mask wearing for the general public, including those who are fully vaccinated, in areas where there is substantial COVID-19 transmission (defined by 50-99.99 new cases per 100,000 people in the past 7 days). Based on current COVID-19 incidence rates in Jefferson County (77.2 per 100,000 people as of July 28, 2021), Jefferson County is in the substantial transmission category. For this reason, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) strongly recommends that all residents ages 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, return to wearing a mask in indoor public spaces to minimize risk and maximize protection from COVID-19, including the highly infectious Delta variant.

Data show that the Delta variant is far more contagious than past strains of COVID-19, and emerging evidence suggests it spreads more than twice as easily as previous strains. In addition, while COVID-19 vaccines are only slightly less effective against the Delta variant, because no vaccine is 100% effective, it is still possible to contract the Delta variant and spread it to others, even if you are vaccinated. Wearing a mask is an easy, safe, effective and evidence-based precaution for preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

“Because vaccine uptake has now stalled and cases of COVID-19 are once again increasing rapidly in Jeffco, and with the Delta variant circulating widely, we all must now take this additional step to protect ourselves and our loved ones, including our children who aren’t yet eligible to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director, JCPH. “We know this is discouraging news, especially after months of progress. We don’t want to give up the ground our communities worked so hard to take during this battle against COVID-19. By taking recommended precautions now, we can work to minimize viral transmission to prevent the Delta variant from spreading even further.”

As we return to mask-wearing for all individuals, JCPH reminds our community of the following tips for safe, effective face coverings:

  • Choose a mask that has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric and a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top.
  • Masks should completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face without gaps.
  • Wash your hands before and after putting your face covering in place.
  • Do not touch the face covering again until you remove it.
  • Remove your mask to eat and drink and if it is still in good repair, you may continue to use it.

“We knew when we were able to ‘take our masks off’ earlier this summer that there was a possibility of having to put them back on. Unfortunately, we’re at that point as a community, and it’s very important for everyone to protect themselves and others from the Delta variant,” said Comstock. “The other incredibly important step all members of our community can take is to get vaccinated as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are the leading public health strategy to prevent the virus. The vaccines protect against most COVID-19 infections, and prevent nearly all cases of severe illness, hospitalizations and death. You can get a free COVID-19 vaccine close to home any day of the week — don’t wait until it’s too late to protect yourself.”   

JCPH is here to help support our community to access and get information about COVID-19 vaccines. Our team is available to answer your questions and talk through any concerns you may have. Call JCPH’s COVID Vax Information Center (C-VIC) at 303-239-7000 and press option 1. Find out how you can get a free COVID-19 vaccine near you — any day of the week — at www.jeffco.us/vaccinesignup.  

About Jefferson County Public Health 

Public health is what we do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.

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