Sheriffs won’t enforce local mask orders; that responsibility belongs to health officials

Article author: 
Sherrie Peif
Article publisher: 
Complete Colorado
Article date: 
26 November 2021
Article category: 
Colorado News
Article Body: 
While Governor Jared Polis continues to stand firm against pressure from both public health officials and some media outlets to reinstitute a statewide mask mandate, sheriffs in counties where local mandates are in effect say they won’t be enforcing them.
Mask mandates are now in place in Larimer, Boulder, Jefferson, Denver, Arapahoe and Adams counties. But all of the sheriffs contacted by Complete Colorado say while they will educate citizens on the health orders if they are in contact with someone without a mask, they will not be enforcing them unless it escalates to a larger criminal matter.
Mike Taplin, public information officer for Jefferson County, said despite the fact that disregarding a public health order is a criminal charge (misdemeanor), Sheriff Jeff Shrader’s office will not be enforcing it.
“We will not take action on a mask violation,” Taplin said. “But if someone is committing another crime, such as if they are told to leave and don’t, which is trespassing, that we will enforce.”...
Polis has previously pointed to COVID statistics of neighboring New Mexico, which has had a statewide mask mandate in place for months yet has the second-highest infection rate in the country and continues to see growing cases, hospitalizations and deaths....


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