Eagle County formally ends legal action against Basalt school over mask mandate
County: Issue is now moot because mask mandate expired
Eagle County government filed a motion Monday to dismiss its legal action against Cornerstone Christian School over a mask mandate and other health issues.
The county in December filed a complaint and request for a preliminary injunction to require students and staff at the school to wear masks during hours of operation. However, the county commissioners voted as the county board of health Jan. 14 to let the mask mandate expire Jan. 17 for high schools and Jan. 21 for younger grades.
“Accordingly, given that the mask-mandate at the center of this case has now been lifted by Plaintiffs, and because Defendant has agreed to comply with state reporting and licensing requirements in the future, the issues set forth in Plaintiff’s complaint have become moot,” the county’s new motion said.
Cornerstone Christian School is located in the Roaring Fork Valley between Basalt and El Jebel. Pastor Jim Tarr, executive director of the school, told county officials on multiple occasions the school’s position is that the decision on masks should be up to parents. The county disagreed and said a mask mandate required in the public health order required compliance by all public and private schools.
The initial complaint also alleged that Cornerstone was violating Colorado law by not reporting COVID-19 test results at the school to the county. The school has agreed to share test results.
Eagle County Bryan Treu issued a statement Monday regarding the notice of dismissal.
“This dismissal was not based on any arguments or defenses raised by Cornerstone,” he said. “Rather, it was based on the school mask mandate being lifted by our public health director, Cornerstone’s asserted commitments to adhere to state requirements for COVID-19 case reporting, and inspections at the childcare center. As a result, we know feel this matter is moot. We are hopeful that continued compliance efforts and disease trends make further action on our part unnecessary, but we remain ready to bring necessary enforcement actions in the future to keep our community safe.”
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