Larimer County COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Organizations – Larimer County

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There are currently no local public health orders in place for the general public related to COVID-19, however, wearing masks in public indoor settings is strongly advised due to the increasing threat of the Delta variant in Larimer County. Masks are strongly recommended for all residents, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. Click here for more information about these recommendations. 
Coloradans are required to follow the 6th Amended Public Health Order 20-38: Limited COVID-19 Restrictions issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment on August 31, 2021. If you have questions, please email us here. 
FACE COVERINGS 

1. Face coverings are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated patients, residents, and visitors, and medical-grade face masks are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff in the following settings that serve vulnerable or at-risk populations:
i. individuals who are hearing impaired or otherwise disabled or who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication;
ii. individuals who enter a business or receive services and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes;
iii. individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel; or
iv. individuals who are officiating or participating in a life rite or religious service where the temporary removal of a face covering is necessary to complete or participate in the life rite or religious service.
Nothing in this Order changes or abrogates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Order on January 29, 2021, requiring the wearing of masks by travelers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All Coloradans must abide by the CDC’s Order, which can be found here. 
Work Accommodations
Face Mask Required Sign for Businesses    Face Mask Required Sign for Businesses in Spanish
Face mask recommended sign for businesses    Face mask recommended sign for businesses in Spanish
english_please_wear_a_mask_sign.pngspanish_wear_a_mask_sign.png
Feel free to print these signs for your business or facility.  
For detailed information, visit our Schools and Childcare page.
 
Residential camps in Larimer County must follow state guidelines for COVID safety and precautions.
Guidance for evaluating campers and staff with COVID symptoms can be found here.
These organizations must follow state guidelines for COVID safety and precautions.
Information about COVID-19 restrictions in long-term care and assisted living facilities can be found here.
As of June 30, 2021: There are currently no restrictions for Indoor Gatherings and events. Masks are strongly recommended for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in public indoor settings due to the increasing threat of the Delta variant. 
Important Information for Pool Operators as of January 2021:  In order to better provide services to Larimer County residents and to align with national standards, Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has resumed a routine aquatic venue inspection program.<!– To learn more and register your Aquatic Venue, visit the Pool Safety Inspections page.–>
Local businesses are required to report cases of COVID-19 in their employees to the health department. For more information about outbreaks and general guidance for businesses if they were to have a case or exposure in one or more of their employees, please visit our COVID-19 outbreak page.
Sick employees should be encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 either through a local provider or through Larimer County community testing information. 
Local public health departments and other municipal agencies are required to ensure that public health orders are being complied with in order to protect the health of the communities they serve. The goal is always voluntary compliance and collaboration with businesses in order to keep our community healthy. Learn more about how we handle complaints and how to submit a complaint to the Health Department here. 
If you're interested in hosting an onsite vaccination clinic for your employees or for the general public at your business or facility, please send a request to the Larimer County Department of Health & Environment. There is no charge, and the Health Department coordinates staffing, logistics, and vaccine supplies. Requests can be submitted here and will be prioritized based on: 
The state is also offering an on-site Workplace Vaccination Program for employers, unions, and trade associations of any size. 
What happens if COVID-19 conditions get worse?
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment may require counties whose resident hospitalizations threaten to exceed 85% of hospital or hospital system capacity to implement additional restrictions to mitigate disease transmission. In Larimer County, significant COVID-19 mitigation strategies might be needed if we exceed these metrics:
For every person that gets vaccinated, we slow the spread of COVID-19 transmission and avoid going backwards. 
Do employees, customers, or patients need to do temperature checks? 
No, it is no longer required in Colorado’s public health order unless the business or facility requires it. 
Who needs to wear a mask in Larimer County and in what settings? 
1. Face coverings are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated patients, residents, and visitors, and medical-grade face masks are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff in the following settings that serve vulnerable or at-risk populations:
a. Homeless shelters;

2. Exceptions to the face covering requirements include

a. individuals 11 years of age or younger,
b. individuals who cannot medically tolerate a face covering, and
c. individuals participating in one of the following activities:
i. individuals who are hearing impaired or otherwise disabled or who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication;
ii. individuals who enter a business or receive services and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes;
iii. individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role, such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel; or
iv. individuals who are officiating or participating in a life rite or religious service where the temporary removal of a face covering is necessary to complete or participate in the life rite or religious service.
Nothing in this Order changes or abrogates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Order on January 29, 2021, requiring the wearing of masks by travelers to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All Coloradans must abide by the CDC’s Order, which can be found here. 
Is social distancing still required? 
No, but a business may still choose to require it in their establishment. We encourage businesses to consider providing “mask-only” hours or continue social distancing as some customers may want some time to adjust to spaces that are more crowded and to people not wearing masks. 
Do people need to wear masks for “personal services” like in a hair salon or tattoo establishment?
No. It is strongly recommended that unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated persons continue wearing masks. This applies to both customers and staff. Customers should be sure to understand the establishment’s policies around mask wearing before their appointment. It is recommended that unvaccinated people continue to wear masks in any setting.
Do we need to wear masks at church? 
No, however, it is strongly recommended for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to wear masks in public indoor settings due to the increasing threat of the Delta variant. The Health Department does not require businesses to ask for proof of vaccination, but the business can choose whether or not to ask for this information. Out of respect for the place of worship and others, churchgoers should have a clean mask ready to put on should they be asked to by the establishment.
Can businesses and schools still require employees, students, and customers to wear masks?
Yes. Masks are strongly recommended for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors. It is advised to keep a mask with you and wear it when asked out of respect for others and in support of the establishment’s policies.
Are self-service stations and buffets allowed at restaurants? 
Self-serve stations and buffets are allowable. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment offers best practices and recommendations for restaurants, but they are not requirements. 
Do restaurants and bars still need to collect contact information from customers for contact tracing purposes? 
No.
How can I show proof that I have been vaccinated? 
Colorado residents that were vaccinated in Colorado can download the “MyColorado” app on their phone to create a digital ID and a digital copy of your immunization card.
You may show the vaccination card you received at your vaccine appointment, a picture of your vaccination card on your cell phone, or a copy of your immunization records. 
What can I do if I lose my vaccine card?
Coloradans are encouraged to handle their vaccine cards with care. If a vaccine card gets lost or destroyed, you can contact the provider where you received your vaccine to ask for your immunization record.
To replace your COVID vaccine card, contact the provider you went to for your vaccine first.
To replace your vaccine card, we will need to verify your immunization record in our record system or in the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS). If you were vaccinated by the health department or at the State Community Vaccination Site at The Ranch, please complete this form to request a new card. 
If you were vaccinated by another healthcare provider in Colorado, you may complete the replacement card request formWe are not able to verify records for immunizations provided outside of Colorado.
 
Can public and private sector employers require that employees get a COVID-19 vaccine? 
Employers may be able to require COVID-19 vaccination for in-person work for their employees, but an employee may be entitled to an exemption through the ADA and Civil Rights Act of 1964. The state of Colorado is not currently pursuing any mandates. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission has more information on this on their website.
When is someone considered fully vaccinated?
People are considered fully vaccinated: 
If a business, school, or other setting is being more strict about masks or other precautions than public health orders require, can the Health Department call them to ask them to loosen their policies? 
No. The role of the Health Department is to address issues of non-compliance with the current restrictions. A business that chooses to be more strict is not out of compliance with public health orders.  A business or agency may have many reasons for continuing practices that are stricter than the Health Department requires, including limited staffing, not needing to ask for proof of vaccination, limited hours of operation, ongoing corporate policies, or a desire to continue protecting staff and customers while widespread community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring.
Where can I ask more questions? 
The best way to get the most accurate and up-to-date information from our department is by emailing us at covidconcerns@larimer.org. 
What is the most recent science behind mask-wearing?
The state still encourages mask-wearing in any setting where you may be interacting with people outside your household, especially indoors, if you are unvaccinated. Masks work well to protect people from all forms of COVID-19, including variants.
Many different peer-reviewed studies show that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks work by reducing the amount of infectious respiratory particles in the air. More studies on masks are being added to the scientific literature every month.
Masks appear to help keep the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others by reducing how many and how far infectious particles can spread when a sick person exhales, speaks, coughs, or sneezes. 
Masks also appear to partially protect the person wearing the mask, especially from severe infection. Masks may partially filter infectious particles and possibly reduce the amount of virus people breathe in. They may also keep people from touching their faces
Individuals are thought to be best protected when both they and most others in their community wear masks.
Mask-wearing works best when masks fit well. For more information, read a CDC report about how mask fit affects viral transmission.
Read a CDC editorial advocating for mask-wearing
These laboratory studies examine how well masks filter infectious particles in the laboratory setting or how COVID-19 transmission is prevented or limited among laboratory animals:
Fabric and homemade cloth masks, particularly tightly-woven and multi-layered ones, partially filtered out infectious respiratory droplets and aerosols in these two studies: Konda 2020 and Davies 2013.
Regular surgical face masks (not N95 masks) significantly reduced the amount of influenza virus and coronavirus nucleic acid detected in exhaled respiratory droplets and aerosols of infected individuals.  
Hamsters simulated to wear masks had a lowered risk of COVID-19 infection or less severe COVID-19 disease compared to hamsters who were not simulated to wear masks when exposed to the virus. 
These studies observe how masks may reduce the risk of getting sick from COVID-19 during individual outbreaks or potential outbreaks (i.e., natural “experiments”):
Infected passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, where widespread masking was not used during an outbreak, had an 18% asymptomatic rate. Infected passengers on the Ernest Shackleton cruise ship, where widespread masking was implemented during an outbreak, had an 81% asymptomatic rate.  
A seafood processing plant in Oregon that implemented universal mask-wearing had a 95% asymptomatic rate among 124 infected workers.
Two infected hair salon employees in Missouri did not transmit any apparent infections to any of their 139 clients when both they and nearly all of their clients wore masks.
In a pediatric hemodialysis unit in Indiana which required universal masking, exposure to one symptomatic COVID-19 patient resulted in mostly asymptomatic seroconversion among several other patients (23%) and staff (44%)
An analysis of several airplane flights with infected passengers (identified after the flights) suggested mass transmission on flights where masks were optional and little-to-no transmission where masks were strictly required throughout the flight. 
These studies demonstrate decreasing COVID-19 incidence after increases in mask use or mask mandates across a community or system:
In one academic hospital, implementation of universal mask wearing led to a decrease in new COVID-19 cases among health care workers compared with before implementation.
In another hospital system, a system-wide mask mandate resulted in declining COVID-19 cases within the system in stark contrast to increasing COVID-19 cases in the surrounding community during the same time period. 
An event study showed declining COVID-19 cases in the month after mask mandates were put into effect in specific areas. 
A recent geographic cross-sectional model showed areas with higher mask use having lower COVID-19 virus reproductive numbers  (still undergoing peer-review).
In Kansas, COVID-19 incidence markedly decreased in counties that implemented a mask mandate while COVID-19 incidence continued to increase in counties that declined to do so. 
meta-analysis suggested mask use may reduce COVID-19 infection rates by nearly 65%.
Additional evidence that supports mask-wearing can be found in a recent CDC scientific brief
Note: If you have an emergency, please call 911. If you need to report a crime or ask a police related question, please call the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at 970-416-1985.
200 W. Oak Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
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