JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Jefferson County Public Health announced it issued an emergency public health order which requires all residents in the county to wear a face covering in public.
The order takes effect at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. Residents will need to wear a face covering when social distancing is not maintainable.
The county sites a large increase in coronavirus cases since mid-June, specifically 230 new cases the week of July 5. They compared it to their lowest number of cases (76) during the week of June 14.
“Evidence shows that when more people wear a mask, transmission of COVID-19 can be reduced, which means fewer people become ill with the virus and we can continue to rebuild our economy,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, MPH, Executive Director at CDPHE.
COVID-19 spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets by way of coughs, sneezes and conversations.
“The Order provides exceptions for health conditions, certain work conditions, first responder unforeseen emergencies, children under 5 years of age and for situations in which CDPHE has explicitly permitted the removal of a face covering. Face coverings should not be worn by young children under age 3, anyone who has medical conditions that prevent them from wearing it, or anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance,” the county stated in a news release on Tuesday.
People who violate it could face a $1,000 fine or one year in jail.
The order may be amended or extended following a hearing on July 21.
Several Colorado cities and towns have also issued mandatory mask orders or ordinances including Golden.
Tri-County Health also recently announced it will issue a mask order. Douglas County, part of the department’s jurisdiction, then said it will withdraw from the health department.