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Tri-County Health orders mask mandate; cities can opt out

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:29 PM MDT
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AURORA, Colo. (KKTV) - Health officials who oversee a large swath of suburban Denver have decided to impose a mask-wearing requirement to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but jurisdictions will be allowed to opt-out of the order.

The Aurora Sentinel reports the Tri-County Health Department’s Board of Health voted 5-4 on the order Wednesday. It will apply to Douglas, Arapahoe and Adams counties, home to about 1.4 million people. The area has been seeing an uptick in cases in recent weeks.

The vote directs the head of Tri-County Health to set the details, including where masks are and aren’t required. But the ultimate decision will rest with elected officials.

Colorado Springs city leaders have publicly supported mask-wearing but have stopped short of making it a requirement. 11 News reached out to El Paso County commissioners Wednesday night but at the time of this writing had not heard back.

Local health experts strongly believe in masks as the most effective weapon citizens can wield against the virus.

“You should be wearing a mask anytime you are in public,” said Dr. Leon Kelly, the deputy director for the El Paso County health department. “That is one of our single best weapons that we’re going to have moving forward.”

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