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The Legal Brief

Colorado Statewide Mask Order

July 21, 2020

By: Alexis L. Hailpern and Karl F. Kumli

In the midst of a resurgence of COVID-19 in the United States and in those states bordering Colorado, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a statewide mask order on July 16, 2020. Referring to studies projecting that the resurgence in COVID has a potential to overwhelm Colorado’s ICU beds by September, Polis announced that this took effect on Friday, July 17, 2020 at midnight.

The order mandates that anyone over the age of 10 must wear a mask in public. People who cannot physically tolerate face coverings due to medical conditions are exempted. Additionally, certain r exceptions will apply to the requirement while performing certain activities such as when eating at a food service establishment, exercising alone, receiving a service where the mask would interfere with the service, having to remove one’s mask for purposes of identification.

The Governor noted that those who refuse to wear a mask inside of a Colorado business or other indoor public space, will now be subject to civil and criminal penalties including prosecution for trespass. Businesses which fail to enforce the order as a condition for entering or patronizing the business may have their business license, liquor license, or other license to operate suspended temporarily by State or local authorities. Businesses are also required to post notice of the mask requirement at entrances, informing patrons of their obligation to wear a mask.

“We have a choice in Colorado,” said Gov. Polis, “either more mask wearing and more attention to social distancing, or more damage to our economy and loss of life.”

Businesses with questions regarding safe and compliant operations during the pandemic can rely on the attorneys in Jackson Kelly PLLC’s Commercial and Workplace Safety and Health practice groups to provide guidance in changing conditions.


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