While a variance from some pandemic restrictions remains in place in Mesa County, a new statewide order directs people to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced the executive order intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Polis also said there will be a two-week pause on issuing any new variances to counties.
“Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from over, cases are up and we have to find a way to live sustainably while protecting ourselves and those around us,” Polis stated in a news release. “Masks are the ticket to the Colorado we love and a critical part of supporting Colorado’s economy and prosperity. The best way to support Colorado workers and businesses right now is to wear a mask.”
Under the order, people older than 10 years must wear a covering over their noses and mouths when entering or moving within any public indoor space. No business serving the public in an indoor space may allow a customer to enter or move within that space unless the customer wears a face covering.
The order doesn’t apply to rooms in a motel or hotel or residential rooms for students at educational facilities. The order does apply, though, to those using buses, taxis or ride-sharing services.
The order exempts those eating at restaurants or other food service establishments, those receiving personal services that require the temporary removal of face coverings and those giving speeches for broadcast or an audience.
Grand Junction City Manager Greg Caton said the city will continue to work with Mesa County Public Health to promote education and voluntary compliance.
Grand Junction Police Chief Doug Shoemaker also asked for compliance to avoid disputes over those refusing to wear masks.
“If officers are called to handle a dispute over mask compliance, that is time taken from other calls for service received from members of our community who need our help,” Shoemaker said. “We receive an incredible amount of support from this community, and we would humbly ask that folks treat one another with civility and respect and do the right thing by complying with the law.”
Under a second variance from statewide pandemic restrictions, businesses in Mesa County were allowed to reopen and expand up to 50 percent capacity up to a maximum of 175 people in confined indoor spaces. Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed.
For more information about COVID-19 and public health orders, visit the Mesa County Public Health website located at https://health.mesacounty.us or call the hotline at 248-6900.