July 17, 2020 | By Dan Mika |
“WELD COUNTY — The Weld County Board of Commissioners has directed the local health department to not enforce a statewide mask order that went into effect early Friday morning to help control the rising spread of COVID-19 across Colorado.
In a statement Friday afternoon, the commissioners argued that while Gov. Jared Polis has the authority to enact executive orders, he doesn’t have the specific power to order mask-wearing in public.
“Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 25-33.5-704 and 24-33.5-704.5 both mention the governor’s authority to enact executive orders but neither grants him the authority to enact a mask order within the state,” the statement reads.
County officials instead are urging residents to take individual responsibility and to take “common-sense” approaches to controlling COVID spread, including washing hands often, disinfecting surfaces, maintaining social distance, staying home when sick and covering their coughs. Wearing a mask was not included in that list.
Polis on Thursday issued the mask-wearing order requiring all state residents over the age of 10 to wear a mask when in an indoor public space, with various exceptions for exercising alone, eating at a restaurant and those “who cannot tolerate” wearing a mask. The latter exemption is meant for people who have respiratory problems and would be inhibited if wearing a mask.”