COLORADO, USA — A mask mandate for Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties that was approved by the Tri-County Health Department’s (TCHD) board will go into effect on July 24.
The order requires that people wear facial coverings when outside their homes and unable to maintain social distancing. There are some exceptions for people who cannot wear a mask due to mental or medical reasons, as well as children under 2-years-old.
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The order also allows each county and its individual municipalities the option to opt-out.
Counties or cities that wish to opt out of the mask mandate must tell TCHD via email by July 23, according to the news release.
These are the locations that have opted out so far:
Douglas County’s Republican commissioners sent out a news release Friday saying they intended to opt-out – and that the mask mandate has also prompted them to ask to withdraw from the TCHD and form their own health department.
In their individual statements, Douglas County’s commissioners expressed that they want a policy that is more appropriate for Douglas County and that they trust citizens to do what is best for them.
Brighton is the first municipality in Adams County to opt-out of the mandate.
City Council member Matt Johnston said the decision is open-ended and they will continue to revisit the issue at every city council meeting going forward until there is a vaccine.
The Glendale City Council in a special meeting Tuesday night agreed to take time to draft legislation before deciding if the city should opt-out of the mask mandate.
City Council agreed to meet again on July 21 after councilmembers can "do research," meet with constituents and draft an ordinance.
The city took issue with TCHD's mandate because it groups people into "households" instead of simply capping numbers of a group in restaurants, businesses and outdoor recreation.
Bennett's town trustees voted 6-to-1 to opt out of the TCHD mask mandate.
"By the data released by Tri-County Health, I believe we have lower cases than the rest of Adams and Arapahoe County, and because of that I believe our residents should choose what is best for their personal health," said Mayor Royce Pindell. "We still strongly encourage residents to be responsible about their personal hygiene by frequently washing their hands, cleaning highly-touched surfaces, keeping appropriate social distance and weraing a mask when they feel necessary."
The town said vulnerable and at-risk residents can pick up free face masks at Town Hall.
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