There's been some confusion this week about the mask mandate in Mesa County.

Earlier this week, Governor Jared Polis in his daily briefing said six Colorado counties, including Mesa County, have a low enough threshold they can have larger events, keep bars open until 2:00 am, and "don't even have to have a mask-wearing requirement."

Upon hearing those words from the governor, it sounded like Mesa County would be doing away with the mask-mandate, but that is not the case, and this wrong information is spreading across social media.

Mesa County Public Health has stepped up to clarify exactly where things stand right now.

As it currently stands, nothing has changed in Mesa County. MCPH says face covering "must be worn for interactions where physical distancing is not possible or when entering and moving throughout indoor public places. Face coverings can be removed while seated."

Additionally, all industries, businesses, and establishments may operate at 50% capacity with indoor capacity capped at 500 people, and the last call for alcohol can be no later than midnight.

What things look like going forward remains to be determined, but it seems highly likely that restrictions will not be relaxed anytime soon. In the last two weeks, Mesa County has seen 226 positive COVID cases. MCPH Executive Director Jeff Kuhr said because of the high numbers, Mesa County is in danger of losing its Protect Our Neighbors designation.

MCPH says they are working with the state to "provide clarification on comments made by Governor Polis." Local health officials are actively monitoring the ever-changing situation and working on a forward-going plan. That plan could mean greater restrictions and guidelines for Mesa County residents -- or it could possibly mean fewer restrictions in some areas.

Mesa County has been extremely fortunate throughout the pandemic in keeping the COVID numbers low, which has allowed a relaxation of restrictions and significantly greater opening than most Colorado counties. However, the virus is still alive and well and active, and we need to continue to be vigilant in doing the right things like washing our hands, staying home when we are sick, and, yes, wearing that mask when you're out in public.

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