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Governor Polis announces statewide mask mandate

Governor Polis during a press conference
Governor Polis during a press conference(KKCO/ KJCT)
Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 12:27 PM MDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2020 at 2:57 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -

Governor Polis (D-Colorado) announced a statewide mask-wearing mandate in his Thursday afternoon press conference, citing an uptick of cases in the state and in the country. There are over 38,000 cases and over 1,700 deaths because of COVID-19 in the state of Colorado. So far, Colorado is not considered a hotspot and Governor Polis wants to keep it that way.

“This will also help those responsible companies have better enforcement with so that they’re customers and they’re employees have a reasonable expectation of safety. You just have to know you should wear a mask when you’re in public. When you go into a store, you go into the office, you go to a place where others congregate,” says Gov. Polis.

Places like Starbucks and City Market have already issued their own regulations, saying if you want to shop in their store, you must wear a mask.

“I haven’t really thought it’s been a big deal. I’ve worn a mask to be courteous to others. I’m in favor of making sure that we’re safe,” says City Market customer, Michael Emmendorfer.

Children under 10 and those with certain medical conditions are exempt. According to the CDC, that means any person who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove a mask without help.

“Why would you want to take the personal risk? This stuff’s nasty. Who wants to get sick? Much less, end up in the hospital? You can die, you can infect your love ones,” says customer, Jane Anne Schroeder.

Polis says to not let politics get in the way of safety. “The virus doesn’t care what political party you’re in, the virus doesn’t care what belief system you have, the virus doesn’t care what your ideology is. The virus is the virus and it is a threat to every single one of us.”

The order is clear about enforcement and punishment too; calling on law enforcement to take action if necessary and charging those who defy the mandate with trespassing, among other charges. We reached out to GJPD and they tell us they need more time to look over the order, look at the fine print before taking any legal action on this mandate.

In defense of his order, Polis pointed to counties that already instituted mask mandates, saying they have seen a slower spread of the virus compared to their counterparts.

Copyright 2020 KJCT. All rights reserved.