2 major Colorado systems lift masking rules

Denver Health and Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth plan to lift universal mask mandates March 1, Colorado Public Radio reported Feb. 27. 

"We feel that it is safe to no longer mandate masking," Michelle Barron, MD, senior medical director of infection prevention and control at UCHealth, told CPR, citing significant declines in COVID-19 and flu cases as a factor in the decision to loosen masking rules. Infection prevention guidelines remain, she said, meaning visitors and staff need to wear a mask and other personal protective equipment if a patient has a transmissible infection.

Denver Health said its decision is aligned with other healthcare institutions in the region. In a Feb. 24 statement, the health system said anyone with respiratory virus symptoms and unvaccinated staff members will still be required to wear masks. 

"Denver Health's COVID-19 hospitalization and ICU rates are very low, despite community transmission of the virus," Connie Savor Price, MD, the system's chief medical officer, told CPR

Both health systems said they will continue to monitor key metrics and reinstate mandates as needed. Data from Colorado's health department shows COVID-19 hospitalizations have remained relatively flat since mid-January. 


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