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Manitou Springs issues new face covering policy

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Posted at 11:49 AM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 14:18:03-04

MANITOU SPRINGS — Manitou Springs is bringing back a mask mandate. City leaders hope to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its Delta variant by enacting new face-covering policies.

City of Manitou Springs elected leaders made the decision Tuesday evening. The mask mandate begins Monday, Aug. 23. Manitou Springs Mayor, John Graham says the start date allows a few days to make as many people as possible aware about the changes before they are enacted.

In a press release, the city explained that it is bringing back these policies because it is a popular tourist attraction in the Pikes Peak region and the mask mandate promotes "the public health of everybody" by enforcing a policy that will require people to wear masks in indoor establishments. The is not a requirement for masks at outdoor public areas like the previous mask policy in the city.

"This Order will also require the use of a face-covering in all indoor public areas within Manitou Springs, given certain exceptions," the release reads. It goes on to expalin that a public indoor space in includes "publicly or privately owned [enclosed areas] accessible to the public, a place of employment, or an entity providing services." Graham said "schools are public space," and they are included in the order.

People with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are not subjected to the face-covering policy also children under five will not be forced to wear masks. Anyone sitting down for a meal at an eatery can remove their mask.

Police officers will first work to educate anyone who is not complying with the order. If someone is confrontational when a business or organization leader asks them to wear a mask, police can treat it as a disturbance under trespassing laws.

The Superintendent of Schools for D14 released further information relating to campuses. Read more

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We know that these new policies could come with a lot of confusion. So, here are some frequently asked questions about new face-covering mandates from the City of Manitou Springs.

How will this order differ from the City’s previous mask requirement?

The two key differences between the mandate that begins on August 23rd, and the mandate that began mid-year in 2020 is that masks will not be required outside, and that masks are not required on children younger than five years old.

Will law enforcement be citing people for not wearing a mask?

Law Enforcement’s first step will be spreading education and awareness about the Order to encourage voluntary compliance and mutual understandings. It is important that throughout this process, we are working together with our community and our visitors to promote everyone’s overall public health and quality of life The Manitou Springs Police Department will enforce disturbances resulting from disputes inside local businesses over the Emergency Order and treat them as any other trespassing issue.

What exceptions are there to this Order?

Key exceptions to this Order are as follows, a full list can be found under Section 5:
• Persons under the age of 5 • Persons who cannot medically tolerate a face covering,
• Persons who are seated at a table in a food establishment
• Individuals who are hearing impaired or individuals who are communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication

What is considered a face covering?

A face covering is a uniform piece of material that securely covers a person’s nose and mouth and remains affixed in place without the use of one’s hands.

Do I need a face covering in my car or inside my house?

No, this order only mandates face coverings in all public indoor spaces. A public indoor space is an enclosed area that is publicly or privately owned that is accessible to the public, a place of employment, or an entity providing services.