First Denver schools, now residential care facilities. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has modified the statewide guidance for masking requirements in facilities serving older adults and people with disabilities.

Following the direction of the CDC, and their recommended mask use for vaccinated individuals, a few changes have been instituted.

For one, Colorado will be requiring mask use for staff, visitors, and residents in care facilities regardless of vaccination status.

Testing of fully vaccinated individuals who have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID is also required.

Randy Kuykendall, Director of Health Facilities and EMS Division within the CDPHE, spoke on the change in mandates, saying:

As we look to decrease new COVID-19 cases, additional or more stringent infection prevention measures may be necessary at times and our experts will continue to monitor virus data [...]

According to the CDPHE's official announcement, they will also require and implement rapid testing for all unvaccinated staff and residents who leave the facility for longer than 24 hours.

The CDPHE, in accordance with Public Health Order 20-20, is requiring every facility to establish a COVID-19 vaccination plan and maintain said plan. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the plan must promote "vaccine confidence and acceptance and [continue] to offer vaccinations to all staff and residents".

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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