FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents and visitors to the City of Fort Collins will be required to wear face coverings in public buildings for an indefinite amount of time effective Monday. City Manager Darin Atteberry signed an order Friday requiring anyone in a public building, or public transportation, to wear a face covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. Failure to comply could result in a misdemeanor citation and fee.
Honore Depew, spokesperson for the Fort Collins City Manager's Office, said the new order is intended to further protect Fort Collins residents.
"This is city law," Depew told CBS4's Dillon Thomas. "We are going to see people wearing masks day in and day out."
The order, which does not have a current expiration date listed, goes further than state and Larimer County regulations.
"It is intended to layer on top of county and state orders," Depew said.
The order predominantly focuses on businesses and other areas people gather, including city buildings and other facilities where people of 10 or more congregate. Depew said the burden falls on the business owners of Fort Collins to make sure their customers and visitors are following the law.
"This order applies to all businesses in Fort Collins," Depew said. "They have the responsibility to ensure, if a patron comes in their store, that patron is complying with the face covering order. And, it is their responsibility not to serve that person if they refuse to wear a face covering."
Many people across the United States, including large groups in Colorado, have vocalized their opposition to the government restricting businesses from operating fully, and enforcing facial covering orders.
Depew said the order from Fort Collins is just one way the city hopes to get their economy back to full-functioning order.
"This is about helping one another, and making sure we are protecting those people who have to be out there," Depew said. "It does help us get back to normal, and help get the economy going again. And, allow people to do their work with a little more health and safety."
In a release from the city to CBS4, the following exemptions will be made to the order:
• Persons under the age of 10 years or children within a child care facility;
• Persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition documented by a medical professional;
• Persons working in an office or other workspace who do not have any face-to-face interactions with or share workspace with other persons;
• If the person is undergoing a medical or dental procedure that requires access to the person's mouth or nose;
• Property owned or operated by the federal, state or county governments; and
• Persons who are customers of banks, financial institutions, and pawn shops. However, employees of these places must still wear face coverings.
Violations of the face covering policy may be reported online at www.fcgov.com/accessfortcollins or by calling 970-416-2200.
Several local governments in Colorado now require certain people to wear masks.
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