Mask mandate on the table in Pueblo

The Mayor sent a letter to officials asking for support for a Board of Health order
The letter is an acknowledgement of supporting any mask order the Board of Health may put into place
Posted at 10:39 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 00:57:32-05

PUEBLO — There is a chance people in Pueblo may need to pull out their masks again, with the city discussing the renewal of an indoor mask mandate.

Mayor Nick Gradisar sent a letter to select city and county officials asking for them to sign it, showing their support if the Board of Health chooses to consider a mask mandate.

"It's a pretty small price to pay to keep our hospitals open and able to treat something other than COVID patients."

Mayor Nick Gradisar's letter asking for support of a mask mandate

Gradisar says the hospitals are his biggest motivation for a city-wide mask mandate. Both Saint Mary Corwin and Parkview Medical Center have been at capacity for several weeks.

"We're shipping patients to La Junta because we don't have room in the hospitals here in Pueblo, so that's obviously very distressing to me and it seems that if there is something we can do about that, we ought to try and do something about that."

Restaurants and all other indoor businesses would be impacted by the proposed mask mandate.

Michael Pacheco, the owner of Papa Jose's Mexican Restaurant in Downtown Pueblo, says that although masks are inconvenient for customers, his business will comply with any mandate.

"We'd rather have a mask mandate than shut the dining rooms down again."

Ultimately, the decision for a mandate comes down to the Board of Health. The mandate would require masks indoors through January 31, with exceptions at events where everyone shows proof of vaccination.

The deadline for supporters to sign off on the letter is December 8.

The next Board of Health meeting is December 22, and the Pueblo County Health Department says there is not a mask mandate proposal on the agenda at this time.