Basalt council decides to play it safe by extending face covering requirement

New resolution requires masks until June 8

Chad Bones gives Larry Mills a haircut at the Basalt Barber Shop a week after they reopened on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. The Basalt Town Council voted Tuesday night to extend its requirement for masks until June 8.
Kelsey Brunner / The Aspen Times

On the same day that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased recommendations for masks in some outdoor scenarios, the Basalt Town Council on Tuesday extended it public health order requiring face coverings until June 8.

Town Manager Ryan Mahoney said the precaution seems prudent until there is a clearer picture on the direction Pitkin and Eagle counties are going with their regulations. Basalt is divided between the two counties.

“Eagle County is going to be rolling back many of their restrictions and so is Pitkin County,” Mahoney said.

In Colorado, masks requirements can be based upon the number of cases diagnosed in a county. That can create a confusing patchwork of regulations, particularly in a relatively small area such as the Roaring Fork Valley, which falls into three counties.

COVID case counts are dropping in Pitkin County, so it moved Monday to Blue level restrictions on the state’s COVID-19 dial. The move removes many capacity restrictions on restaurants, bars, gyms, offices and retail shops.

Basalt Mayor Bill Kane agreed that it would behoove the town to keep the face coverings requirement in place for another month. It was set to expire in May.

“This is essentially a continuation until we can learn more,” he said. “This will be interesting to watch.”

The Basalt council passed a resolution on the extension unanimously with little discussion. The resolution says:

“All persons shall wear Face Coverings:

1. When entering and while inside areas of a place of business open to the public.

2. In such other public indoor or outdoor places where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing (e.g. 6 or more feet separation) from others not of their own household, except for momentary circumstances to accept payment, deliver goods, walk or ride past another person, or perform otherwise necessary tasks.”

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