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Polis issues mask mandate

 

Last updated 7/16/2020 at 4:04pm

Courtesy of Governor Jared Polis Facebook page

Gov. Jared Polis discuss the new statewide mask mandate during a press conference on July 16.

Gov. Jared Polis just announced his new order requiring face masks in most public indoor spaces for all Coloradans older than 10. It goes into effect at midnight.

The order, which stands for 30 days, is intended for places such as stores and businesses but offers several exceptions. For instance, it does not apply to individuals with a medical condition or disability that would prevent them from wearing a mask.

Other exceptions:

Eating in a restaurant

Exercising alone

Receiving a service where a mask would interfere (beard trimming, facial, etc.)

Public safety personnel

Religious officiants

Speaking to a televised audience

For purposes of identification

Polis said this move takes the burden off of local municipalities that may have hesitated to enact similar mask mandates, and he noted this applies to all cities in the state.

"There is no opt out," he said.

Polis said he was reluctant to enact such a mandate until recently, but now he thinks this is crucial to avoid returning to a stay-at-home order.

When asked what should happen if someone enters a store with a mask but then takes it off, Polis responded: "I would just encourage Coloradans not to be stupid and not to do that."

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock suggested another shopper might report it to management, who could then follow up with the violator and request that the mask be worn.

As far as enforcement goes, Polis said there is going to a variety of responses depending on how local communities choose to handle it. However, some cities rely on code enforcement in such matters. Others could use police, since violation of this order could be comparable to a trespassing violation or a person entering a store with no pants, Polis said.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office issued this statement following the press conference:

"These are trying times in many aspects for law enforcement. We cannot afford to take actions that further erode the public trust in us.

As such, the official position of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is to continue to educate the public on the benefits of wearing face coverings in enclosed public places. We will stress that wearing a mask will slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

We will not, however, be expending the resources of the Sheriff's Office on issuing citations to individuals not wearing masks."

A link to a full statement and the order can be found here: https://www.colorado.gov/governor/news/governor-polis-announces-statewide-mask-order?fbclid=IwAR0OWCma63t8tTC4zzlhknXCBqlZeZLHiS8UoADZxlOUqXUAu7KX2dqaDbE

 

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