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Commissioners: Indoor mask mandate would not be enforceable

Pitkin County leaders talk about possible next steps ahead of the Board of Health’s monthly meeting.

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — With local COVID-19 case counts continuing to rise, the possibility of an indoor mask mandate at this week’s Pitkin County Board of Health meeting was on county commissioners’ minds Tuesday.

But if their informal discussion was any indication of the outcome at Thursday’s Board of Health meeting, indoor masks probably are not in the county’s near future.

“Issues of enforceability weigh on me,” said Commissioner Greg Poschman, who chairs the board of health and worried about passing the responsibility of a mask mandate on to local restaurant staff and other workers. “That’s where the hesitance is.”

Commissioner Francie Jacober said she sympathized with business owners who refuse to place the responsibility of mask enforcement on employees, while Commissioner Patti Clapper called such mandates “futile.”

Board Chairwoman Kelly McNicholas Kury, the mother of two young children who cannot yet be vaccinated, wondered what adults can legitimately be asked to do when the path to health has been clear since the vaccines were introduced.

“Our recommendation to wear a mask is not broadly adhered to,” she said. “Wearing a mask would keep the community healthier. But I recognize the roadblocks.”

Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock pointed out another roadblock when he said he and his staff have gotten no indication that the state or neighboring counties plan to implement an indoor mask mandate in the near future. 

Read the full story in the Aspen Times. 

> Watch video above: Boulder County Health announces indoor mask order

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