Mesa County Sheriff won’t enforce mask mandate
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -
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On Thursday, Governor Jared Polis signed an Executive Order making masks mandatory indoors for those ages 10 and older. The order also mentions there could be legal action if you don’t follow the mandate.
Some residents we spoke with were against the law enforcement on the mandate. But the Mesa County Sheriff’s Dept. say they are not going to take legal action for those who don’t wear a mask but will take legal action if it were to escalate.
“Our local business are going to have people who come in that are compliant and they’re going to have people that are not. The majority of those people, when they’re reminded by the business owner, that they’re going to rectify the situation,” says Sheriff Matt Lewis. “The mask violation, that’s a public health order. That’s something in the realm of public health. We deal in the realm of criminal offenses.”
MCSD is calling the statewide order a low priority and to make sure it isn’t a criminal situation. Joining the ranks of several other sheriffs in the county include, Delta County, Weld County, which comprises Greely. El Paso County comprising Colorado Springs and Elbert County.
If you refuse to wear a mask after being told by a business to wear one, MCSD could issue a trespassing citation. But MCSD wants to make it clear, they won’t be patrolling people who aren’t wearing masks. They will get involved if the situation were to escalate.
“We’re looking at what this might turn into, whether it starts as a disagreement between two people. We’ve seen things that could escalate into, and we hope that it doesn’t, but things like assault.” says Lewis.
MCSD says their role is to support local businesses and if you wear a mask, you’re protecting businesses and helping them stay open.