Mountain Village lifts face covering requirement, aligns with County and State orders

In its regular May meeting on Thursday, May 20, the Mountain Village Town Council voted unanimously to lift its face covering requirement to align local rules with new orders from San Miguel County and State of Colorado. The emergency ordinance is effective immediately as of 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Council approved an emergency ordinance in June of 2020 requiring face coverings to be worn inside a business that is open to the public and on public transportation within or operated by the Town of Mountain Village.

As stated in the ordinance’s memo, “the Town trusts the guidance of the County and its public health staff to evaluate the data relevant to the region in providing COVID-19 related guidance. The Town’s approach to mask enforcement has always been one of communication rather than coercion. As such, the Town is confident it can support the County in its effort to protect the public without its own local ordinance addressing face coverings.”

As a result of the County’s sustained low case and high vaccination rates, San Miguel County (SMC) Public Health issued a new public health order effective 1 a.m. Thursday, May 20 that is now directly aligned with the State of Colorado’s public health orders. The state issued its revision late last week after the Center for Disease Control’s latest mask and vaccination announcement.

The State public health order strongly encourages any individual age 11 and older, who is not fully vaccinated, to continue wearing a mask indoors where members of different households are present. Fully vaccinated individuals can go without masks in almost all settings.

However, regardless of vaccination status, face coverings will still be required in a number of situations, including on all public transportation, specifically the gondola and buses in Mountain Village.

The updated public health order outlines that face coverings are still required in certain settings for individuals age 11 and older including but not limited to:

  • Public transportation, regardless of vaccination status, and within public transportation hubs such as airports, during travel. This includes the gondola when it reopens May 27 and all buses operated by the Town of Mountain Village and San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART).
  • Any indoor space where more than 100 unvaccinated individuals or individuals with unknown vaccination status are gathered in a room.
  • Schools, grades preschool through 12, childcare centers and services, extracurricular activities unless all parties involved are fully vaccinated.
  • Personnel in healthcare settings that are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

Businesses may choose to be more restrictive in the interest of public and guest safety and are strongly encouraged to follow best practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

According to a press release from SMC Public Health: “While restrictions are widely removed at this time, Public Health will continue to closely monitor hospitalization, incidence and positivity rates throughout San Miguel County and neighboring counties over the next 60 days. The dial framework will remain active on the county dashboard and Public Health will reapply capacity limits if necessary to maintain control of the County’s disease burden. Should regional hospitals exceed 85% capacity, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment or SMC Public Health may implement additional restrictions to mitigate disease transmission.”

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