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Chautauqua this week announced it will mandate that staff and guests — regardless of their vaccination status — wear masks during events.

“To keep the music playing during this unpredictable time, we are requiring all patrons and event staff to wear a mask while attending events at Chautauqua,” according to a statement from the Colorado Chautauqua Association. “If you do not have a mask at the time of entry, Chautauqua will provide you with one.”

Shelly Benford, chief executive officer with Colorado Chautauqua Association, said she believes the decision to require masks was announced Wednesday. She said more than 90% of staff with Chautauqua are vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the statement, the decision was made as an extra precaution to protect guests, staff and performers from the highly transmissible delta variant. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s most recent data reports 209 delta variant cases in the county. The data lags about one week.

“For the past year and a half, Chautauqua has continually taken proactive measures to increase the comfort and safety of our guests,” Benford wrote in an email. “We are hopeful this step will allow both artists and patrons to relax and enjoy the show.”

The announcement from Chautauqua to require masks follows vaccination mandates made by other music venues throughout the state. Earlier this month, Promoter Z2 Entertainment, which runs the Boulder, Fox and Aggie theaters, said its venues will now require vaccinations or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.

Other venues in Colorado have also implemented the same vaccine protocol.

Boulder County Public Health spokesperson Angela Simental said data from not just the county but national and international sources shows that second to vaccinating against COVID-19, masking is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus.

“To support the safety of all the community members, including children who are not eligible for vaccination, BCPH strongly recommends that all individuals 2 years (or older) wear masks in all indoor settings regardless of vaccination status,” she wrote in an email.

Guests are asked to contact Chautauqua’s box office at BoxOffice@chautauqua.com with any questions regarding the mask requirement.

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