Aspen City Council to vote on mandatory face masks |

Aspen City Council to vote on mandatory face masks

Monica Mull and Kelly Williams, with LIFT-UP, wear homemade masks as they distribute food Wednesday at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle. Many residents are sewing their own masks as a percaution against COVID-19.
Kyle Mills/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Aspen City Council will consider a resolution Monday that will require anyone in city limits to wear a face mask, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Council is scheduled to meet in a virtual special meeting at 4 p.m. to vote on a resolution that would adopt the public health order.

“Under this authority, the city of Aspen has the police powers to do all acts and make all regulations which may be necessary or expedient for the promotion of health or the suppression of disease within the territorial limits of the city of Aspen,” reads a memo from City Attorney Jim True.

Not wearing a face covering is subject to a $50 fine for the first offense; $250 for the second; and a mandatory court appearance for any subsequent offense and a fine of as much as $2,650.

While the city of Glenwood Springs recently adopted a similar order, the Pitkin County Board of Public Health and the COVID-19 incident management team have stopped short by only recommending wearing a face mask.

Council members discussed the requirement last week, after it was brought forward by Councilman Ward Hauenstein.

His colleagues said they were supportive, but refrained from moving forward because of supply and enforcement concerns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing face masks in public settings.

Those masks should fit snugly against the side of the face, are secured with ties or ear loops, and include multiple layers of fabric, according to the CDC’s recommendation.

The city’s resolution proposes that “all persons shall wear face coverings when entering and while inside of a place of business open to the public (and) in such other public indoor or outdoor places where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing (6 or more feet of separation) from others not of their own household.”

Council also will have a virtual work session Monday in which it will discuss expediting building permits and accelerating construction projects in order to fuel that sector of the economy while public health orders keep all nonessential businesses closed.

The Pitkin County Board of Health is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting Tuesday morning to determine the future of the county order. Pitkin County has had 59 confirmed cases of COVID-19 through Saturday and two deaths, according to state data.

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