Polis announces statewide mask requirement
Following a week of contentious discussions in Grand County about mandating masks, Gov. Jared Polis announced a statewide requirement in public places on Thursday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, Grand County’s Board of Commissioners voted not to pass a countywide mandate, despite three towns implementing them already, and Granby’s town board decided to wait on making a decision.
However, Polis moved on Thursday to enact a statewide mandate after a recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations.
“While I’m glad Colorado isn’t a hotspot, we’re seeing an increase nationwide,” Polis said during a press conference. “We don’t want to become a hotspot.”
The mandate requires anyone over the age of 10 to wear masks in public indoor spaces, beginning midnight Friday. Polis also urged people to not gather in large groups and continue to social distance.
According to the state, residents aren’t social distancing as often and with visitors coming to the area, there is more spread of COVID.
Grand County had also seen a rash of cases confirmed, with nine cases previously active in a two week period. It is unclear how many cases are currently active in Grand, but there have only been 32 confirmed instances of COVID and one death that is still under investigation.
Grand County’s Public Health Director Brene Belew-LaDue told commissioners on Tuesday that she felt a mask mandate would be key to continuing to curb the spread of the disease and reopen.
“I believe we need a mask order, and I recommend that we have a mask order,” she told the commissioners before they voted.
With the announcement, Polis said the state will be providing personal protection equipment, including medical-grade masks, for schools to keep staff and students safe while reopening.
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Grand County voters will be deciding on a number of issues this November from tax increases to school board memberships. Ballots were mailed out last week and Election Day is Nov. 2.