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Montrose County is classified as an area with substantial community transmission, which means that the updated recommendations from the CDC released on July 27, 2021 that all individuals wear masks regardless of vaccination status applies here. 

Staff Report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the guidance for mask-wearing. Regardless of vaccination status, masks in indoor areas are now recommended in areas with substantial and high virus transmission.

The CDC has determined that Montrose County is an area with substantial COVID transmission, which means that the recommendation applies here. Delta County is also an area with substantial transmission and Mesa County is classified as the highest level.

The level of community transmission is determined by the rate of new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous week and the percent positivity rate of tests.

The threshold for “substantial transmission” is a seven-day average of 50 new cases per 100,000 and/or a test positivity rate of at least 8%. Over the past week, new cases were identified at a rate of 75 per 100,000.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said that ”this was not a decision that was taken lightly.” Vaccinated people are still well-protected but can still spread the virus to others.

Wearing masks in schools is also now recommended for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status, which is a significant change from the updated guidance issued on July 9 that only recommended masks for unvaccinated individuals.

Montrose County School District is expected to publicize masking guidance for the upcoming school year later this week. Delta County School District and Mesa County Valley School District have previously announced that masks will not be required in the upcoming school year.

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