Created: November 24, 2020 06:17 PM
DURANGO, C.O.—With COVID cases on the rise in southwest Colorado, Durango officials are upping enforcement of the statewide mask ordinance.
On Tuesday, city councilors convened virtually to established stricter regulations for the mandatory mask order, but some members of the community said they don’t agree with the move.
"What you need to do is educate the public and let them make their own personal health decisions,” said one community member.
The emergency ordinance will require business owners to make sure their employees are wearing masks. Under the ordinance, owners and managers can also report a customer for trespassing if they refuse to wear one.
"Requiring businesses to enforce a law that you and that the state are putting out there, since when has it become a business’ responsibility to enforce a state mandate,” said another community member.
While some were against the ordinance, others said it was necessary.
"That person serving you as a teller or clerk, bagger or fulfilling any other customer service role, in my opinion, at least deserves respect and protection by the simple action of wearing a mask,” said a third community member.
City councilors also weighed in on the debate.
“I recognize that we are in a state of where we have to do everything to get back to a state of normalcy as fast as we can,” said Durango City Councilwoman Melissa Youssef.
"I would prefer to be out there in a positive way in our community encouraging compliance with the state health orders not forcing compliance,” added Councilwoman Kim Baxter.
Businesses could be fined up to $500 ordinance violations. The Durango Licensing Authority can also revoke a liquor license if an establishment refuses to comply.
The ordinance is effective immediately until at least January. Exceptions to the mask ordinance include while people are eating or drinking, for people who don’t have contact with others while they work, children who are younger than 10 years, and people with medical exceptions.
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