JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - By a vote of 4-1 the Jefferson County Board of Health approved a new mask mandate for all indoor public spaces. It will include all people age three and older and is to take effect Nov. 24. The vote came after hours of public comment and demonstrations in opposition to the mandate outside of the JCPH offices.
Their position was clear. While carrying signs like "is it about the virus or control?" they claimed their freedom was at stake.
Amity Wicks told CBS4 she was against mask mandate.
"I think every person should be responsible for their own health."
The debate conducted online was whether to require all public indoor spaces to require masks. Businesses that fail to comply could possibly lose their license.
Greg Lopez, a Republican candidate for governor told the demonstrator, "You know I'm a small business owner and I'm here to tell you it's just plain wrong."
Under the order, each public place is to post a sign that masks are required. There will be exemptions for medical, religious and other reasons.
The Jeffco Board of Health President Greg Deranleau noted this order is nothing compared to early on in the pandemic.
"We had extremely severe orders in place at the statewide level. We had business restrictions capacity limits," he said.
Jeffco Public Health Executive Director Dr. Dawn Comstock tried to calm concerns of business owners.
"The first step is we have to receive a complaint. We are not randomly popping into business."
CB4's Rick Sallinger asked those gathered at the demonstration, "Service is to be refused to customers who do not comply. I would like to ask as a group will you comply?"
The response was a loud "no" with one of the speakers saying, " The answer is we will not comply."
Moments after the Jefferson County Board of Health approved a new mask mandate, Tri-County Health Department, which covers Adams and Arapahoe counties, also approved an indoor mask mandate which will taken effect on Nov. 24.
Denver is expected to make a similar announcement on Tuesday.
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