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The Review & Preview: What southern Coloradans need to know this week

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Posted at 5:45 AM, Jul 20, 2020

With so much information being announced daily about the COVID-19 pandemic, here is a review and preview of what is going on in southern Colorado as it pertains to the virus:

The Review

Gov. Jared Polis issues statewide mask mandate as rate of COVID-19 cases increases

A new executive order that will require masks in all public spaces is now in effect in an effort to combat the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in Colorado.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the mandate Thursday and said it would be for "public indoor spaces," such as stores and businesses, unless someone "has a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a mask" for those 11 years and older.

The executive order states owners or managers of a public indoor space must post signs at entrances "instructing individuals of their legal obligation" under the order. Those who cannot wear a mask medically, are hearing impaired or disabled where an essential part of communication is to see the mouth are exempt from this order.

How will police enforce mask mandate in Colorado?

While some agencies are still figuring out how to enforce it, others have already taken a stance.

So far, the Teller County Sheriff's Office, Custer County Sheriff's Office, Weld County Sheriff's Office, and the Elbert County Sheriff's Office have stated they will not enforce the order. In Pueblo County, the Sheriff's Department shared a Facebook post for the Pueblo Department of Public Health & Environment encouraging everyone to "please mask up."

Colorado Springs police posted on Twitter that they are still trying to figure enforcement out.

They said they need to review the Governor's provisions first and once details regarding the new requirement are released and how it affects law enforcement, the department says it will share more information with the public.

Mandatory mask order coming to Manitou Springs

The Governor's order came just days after Manitou Springs imposed a mask order.

The news comes as a relief to many small business owners who've shouldered the responsibility of enforcing public health policy and irritated some customers along the way.

According to a statement from city spokesman Alex Trefry, more than 80 percent of respondents in a recent survey expressed concern over the lack of mask usage in the community.

Colorado Springs mandatory mask proposal postponed

A proposed emergency order requiring masks in Colorado Springs to combat COVID-19 was discussed by Colorado City Council Monday then moved to an agenda in two weeks. Council members want more information from El Paso County Public Health and the city’s legal team.

Business leaders from the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Partnership, Visit Colorado Springs, along with some business executives asked city council to consider the ordinance. They see a threat from COVID-19 to businesses in addition to the health risks.

Protesters waved flags and held up signs against mandatory masks outside city hall ahead of the council's discussion of the ordinance.

The Preview

KOAA Roundtable discussion on Community Voices and Diversity

Next week, in partnership with the Colorado Springs Council of Neighbors and Organizations, we're hosting a roundtable discussion about relationships between local law enforcement and many of you, that have led to a great amount of tension and passion across the state and nation.

We will be taking your questions, your concerns, your voice right to those in charge to continue the discussion. That will include Colorado Springs Police and community leaders.

Tell us what you want to hear about, send us your questions right now to news@koaa.com.

We'll also be airing this discussion live next Tuesday, July 21 on KOAA News5 at 6pm, plus all of our digital platforms. The event continues from 7-8pm exclusively on our digital platforms.

The Rebound Colorado

Tuesday, Patrick Nelson is continuing our Rebound Colorado series.

You may have noticed our grocery bill is getting higher with each trip to the store. Patrick is getting answers on why that is, when you might see some relief, and how this is impacting food banks.

Thursday, Patrick is tackling college student "gap years." He'll be talking with local universities about the growing trend of students taking a year off and how this affects their education and the schools mission.

Find your district's Back to School plan in response to COVID-19

This week we're also tracking reopening plans for local school districts this week.

Some districts have not announced plans for reopening yet, some are still seeking input from parents, and some are forging ahead to start classes in August with precautions in place.

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