State reduces mask restrictions

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RBC | As of Tuesday, April 6, the county was reporting 15 additional COVID-19 cases since Monday, March 29, with nine active cases in Meeker and seven active cases in Rangely. No new hospitalizations or deaths have been reported. According to the public health department, the new cases are mostly connected to sports teams and households in both communities.

As of April 5, 1,626 residents have been vaccinated through public health or local healthcare facilities. Residents who have been vaccinated outside the county are not included in that number.

Changes to the state’s mask mandate began on Saturday and allows residents in 64 Colorado counties, including Rio Blanco, to opt out of wearing face masks in most indoor public places.

Where are masks still required for those 11 and up? In K-12 schools, child care centers, indoor children’s camps, public-facing state government facilities, congregate care facilities, and prisons and jails. Masks are also still required in hair and nail salons and other businesses that provide personal services.

Local mask mandates and individual business requirements for face coverings will still apply, so if visiting another county or community, check for more stringent requirements. Businesses have the right to require masks in their place of business. The updated state mandate will be in effect until May 2.

If new case rates don’t spike before April 16, the COVID dial will be retired and counties will be able to make their own system. Indoor settings with large numbers of people gathering will still be restricted by the state.

Public health officials at the state and federal level have warned that if people “let their guard down” prematurely, we could see another wave of infection, as not enough people have been vaccinated or had COVID to create “herd immunity” yet.

Vaccines

Vaccine clinics continue in Meeker and Rangely, with availability to the general public 18 and older. Meeker is holding drive-through clinics on Mondays at the Fairgrounds from 4-6 p.m., and walk-in clinics at the Fairfield Center on Thursdays from 2-6 p.m. Rangely clinics are walk-in clinics held at the LDS church from 3-5:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

For those vaccinated at the Fairfield Clinic on March 11 and seeking a booster dose, the Fairfield Center is not available. Boosters will be given, along with new first doses, in Rangely on April 8 and on Thursday, April 15 in Meeker. Booster doses do not have to be given exactly 28 days after the initial dose. Check https://rbc.us/606/COVID-19-Vaccinations for the most up-to-date clinic schedule.

Testing is available in Meeker on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-11 a.m. at the Fairfield Center without an appointment. Testing in Rangely is by appointment only (call 970-878-9525).


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