Denver officials announced Tuesday an update to the face mask order, first issued in May, in response to a resurgence of coronavirus infections across Colorado.
The city’s new order falls in line with Gov. Jared Polis’ statewide mask order issued late last week, which mandates individuals age 11 and older wear a mask while in most public indoor spaces. Denver’s face mask rules, however, have been and will continue to be stricter than the state’s.
For example, Denver will continue to require face coverings for anyone age 3 and older, with some specific exemptions, until further notice.
The city also is now requiring that owners, operators or managers of public indoor spaces put up signs in a “conspicuous place at every public entrance,” using a template by the city. Signs must not be smaller than 11-inches wide and 14-inches tall. They must also be posted by July 28.
“Masking up and observing physical distancing are essential to keeping Denver open,” Bob McDonald, executive director of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a statement Tuesday. “There’s a lot we don’t have within our control regarding COVID-19 but wearing a mask and physically distancing are things each of us can do to prevent the spread of the virus in our community.”
This week, DDPHE is also devoting more staff to help evaluate compliance and ramp up enforcement efforts. Businesses will be issued a court summons if a health official finds its employees are not wearing a face covering or if 10% of patrons aren’t wearing masks.
Health officials also are reminding bars, restaurants and other facilities that they can be cited and closed if spacing and face mask requirements are not followed.
The penalty for both individuals and businesses for violating the public health order can result in up to a $999 fine or 300 days in jail per violation.
“How do we help keep our businesses open and avoid another shutdown? Wear your mask, maintain six feet of social distance, and keep gatherings small,” McDonald urged residents.
As of Tuesday morning, there have been at least 8,386 COVID-19 cases and 402 deaths, according to the latest data from Denver Public Health.