COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs City Councilman Richard Skorman plans to introduce an ordinance requiring face coverings in public places beginning Monday.
According to agendas posted on the City of Colorado Springs website, the ordinance will first be discussed at Council's work session Monday, July 13. It is also on the agenda for the regular meeting Tuesday.
The ordinance as it is written would require face coverings within the city "due to the public health emergency caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus" and provide penalties to those who refuse.
Protesters arrived at City Hall Monday morning ahead of the council's mask ordinance discussion.
The ordinance says cases of COVID-19 are "rapidly escalating" in Colorado Springs and in El Paso County, and City Council has found that "immediate action is necessary" to address the emergency.
Under the ordinance, face coverings can include coverings made of cloth, fabric, or other soft material without holes that covers the mouth and nose and surrounding areas.
They would be required in:
- any enclosed space accessible to the public, or where workers including volunteers from more than one household are present
- any City of Colorado Springs building or indoor facility
- public transportation, including City Transit buses and bus shelters and while riding in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle
- any other public indoor or outdoor place where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing
- any outdoor seating or patio area unless seated for dining or drinking
- in common areas of an apartment building, condominium, or similar residential building, including lobbies, pool areas, elevators, common recreation areas, and offices or other spaces used by the public
- where required by a State of Colorado or El Paso County Health Department order
Employers will be required to enforce the ordinance, and make reasonable efforts to provide face coverings for employees, volunteers, and other workers.
There are exceptions to the ordinance for:
- children under 10 years old
- for those with existing health conditions and who can show a doctor's note that a face covering can cause complications
- those working in a professional office or other workspace with no face-to-face interactions and do not share workspaces
- a person undergoing a medical or dental procedure or other service that requires access to the person's nose or mouth
- property owned or operated by the United States or State of Colorado governments unless coverings are required under other regulations
- customers of banks, financial institutions, and pawn shops while within the facility; however, employees of those places must wear face coverings
- those who are eating or drinking at an establishment with food service; however, face coverings must be work when not seated for eating or drinking
- swimming or exercising outdoors, or exercising using indoor gyms, indoor training services, or other indoor recreational activities that comply with applicable state and local orders
Punishments for those who do not follow the ordinance would fall under the "General Penalty" section of the Code of the City of Colorado Springs, which can include fines or time in jail.
If approved, the ordinance would be in effect through August 14, 2020 unless extended.
Read the ordinance in its entirety at the City of Colorado Springs website.