Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Friday extended his statewide mask-wearing mandate, aimed at reducing spread of the coronavirus, into mid September.
The mandate, requiring Coloradans 11 years old and above to wear a mask when in indoor public spaces, was set to expire this weekend. It will now be in effect until at least Sept. 13.
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Violators may be “subject to civil or criminal penalties, including but not limited to prosecution for trespass,” the governor’s order says.
“We have learned that widespread mask use is a low cost and highly effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infections by as much as 65%,” Polis said in his order extending the mandate. “Broad adoption of mask wearing in Colorado may have significant economic benefits by allowing the State to prevent re-closures of businesses and schools and, ultimately, return to our normal lives more quickly.”
The extension, which lasts 30 days, was expected.
Polis was initially hesitant to enact a mask mandate, but after cases and hospitalizations began rising steadily in Colorado, and after a host of counties and cities enacted mask-wearing requirements, he embraced the idea.
Local public health departments in Colorado, which have been doing public mask-wearing surveillance, report they have seen 90% compliance in recent weeks, coinciding with Polis’ order. That’s after those percentages were slipping in June.
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