DENVER – Gov. Polis announced a statewide mask order yesterday and the Polis administration has acted swiftly and boldly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing a mask is an easy and highly effective way to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the order has received widespread support. Gov. Polis was joined by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman at the announcement. The majority of Colorado’s municipalities and counties have already led the way by instituting local mask orders.
Here’s what they’re saying:
“Consistency and predictability are helpful for businesses as they navigate this unprecedented environment, and this order increases both. Consistent rules across the state can help ensure all Coloradans are on the same page in terms of creating safe experiences for workers and customers,” Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
“While wearing a mask is uncomfortable it is a must to control COVID-19. Please wear a mask when out in public. Let’s keep enjoying shopping and dining at our favorite stores and restaurants. Wear a mask, wash, your hands, and practice social distancing,” Rod Slyhoff, President, Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.
“There have not been any easy choices but I believe we can enjoy our personal freedom but also do something for the common good. Wearing a mask should not be a political issue, but an opportunity to lead by example, protect the ones we love and keep our businesses open. I believe we as Coloradans can come together in common purpose to protect each other because the stakes are clear,” Mike Ferrufino, President/CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“For the safety for our essential construction workforce it is critical to wear a facemask as a piece of required personal protection equipment (PPE) that is no different from wearing a hard hat or safety vest. We must have safety measures to protect our workforce, which impacts over a hundred thousand construction workers in the state of Colorado. Our job is to keep workers and communities safe while sustaining the operations of our industry,” Chris Martinez, Executive Director, Hispanic Contractors of Colorado.
Counties and Commissioners Acting Together (CCAT), The Colorado Ski Town Association representing 41 towns, counties, and resort associations dependent on the ski industry and tourism passed a resolution. The Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association released a letter of support and the Colorado Gaming Association is backing the move. Over 50 CEOs, SCARPA North America and the Marijuana Industry Group, are also backing the mask-wearing measure. The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) is also supporting the order.
CO PIRG, Denver Area Labor Federation, SEIU Colorado, Healthier Colorado, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Colorado Sierra Club, Colorado AFL-CIO, Chronic Care Collaborative, Colorado Latino Forum, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Bicycle Colorado, Mile High Connects, The University of Colorado School of Medicine Student National Medical Association, American Medical Women’s Association, American Medical Women’s Association at Colorado State University, American Medical Women’s Association CU Boulder Chapter backed the order.
Colorado’s tourism industry representatives are also supporting the order.
“In Colorado Springs, we understand the importance of visitors practicing responsible tourism (wear a mask when in public, practice social distancing, avoid crowded trails, stay home when sick, know before you go, etc.) We have the dedication of all our tourism attractions/businesses to follow strict guidelines in order to safely serve the public. We must keep hotels open and continue raising capacity numbers to heal the local economy. Businesses like The Broadmoor and Flying W Ranch have just reopened their doors – if we’re going to keep it that way, we need everyone to work together,” Doug Price, President & CEO, Visit Colorado Springs
“A statewide face covering mandate will add clarity for visitors and residents. Visitors arriving will have a clear and easy way to support the communities they enjoy while experiencing the vast outdoors or city centers. In our community we have experienced first hand the benefits of a face covering mandate. We believe a statewide mandate will only enhance our collective public health efforts for Colorado and allow our economy to continue to recover and thrive sooner,” Cynthia Eichler, President & CEO, VIsit Fort Collins
“Pueblo’s economy cannot sustain another shutdown due to an increase in COVID19 numbers. Inconsistent rules associated with mask usage in individual businesses, not to mention from cities & counties, is quite challenging. A statewide mandate would create a consistent and fair standard. If wearing a mask enables us to manage the spread of COVID19, and lessen the impact to public health and economy then we would support those efforts to officially enact that standard,” Donielle Kitzman, Vice President, Visit Pueblo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“The science is clear that wearing masks is effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Wearing masks in public (indoors or outdoors) when social distancing is not possible should be a state and federal requirement until a vaccine has been administered to a sufficient threshold of the population. Goldman Sachs recently reported that a national mandate could raise mask-wearing compliance by 15% and could cut the daily growth rate of confirmed cases to 0.6%. Face masks keep the economy open without having to shut down businesses. We need leadership at the state and federal levels to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. If we are all in this together, we must have regulations that compel us to do what is best for the greater good and not our self-interests. These are not partisan issues; these are life and death issues. Face masks should be required until we are out of the woods,” Bruce Dalton, President & CEO, Visit Aurora.
“VISIT DENVER supports this statewide mandate as a reinforcement and extension of actions the Mayor of Denver has implemented in the City and County for the last few months and has allowed many of our businesses to open safely, protecting the staff, our residents and our visitors alike,” Richard Scharf, President & CEO, VISIT DENVER.
“We believe a statewide mask mandate would assist businesses and communities throughout the state of Colorado. This is a public health issue and our priority is to keep our residents and guests safe. Importantly, if wearing a mask enables us to manage the spread of COVID19, we think this is a common sense and impactful way to allow our economy to thrive in Eagle County and throughout Colorado,” Chris Romer, President and CEO, Vail Valley Partnership.
“As you may already know, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, communities within Garfield County already have mandated mask orders in place. As a valley/community, we feel it is prudent that the Governor put a state mask indoors order in place. See the links below to a great video and posters that were released by the county yesterday: Garfield County Public Health Facebook and summer-themed fliers,” Lisa Langer, Director of Tourism Promotion, Visit Glenwood Springs.
The Colorado Hospital Association, Colorado Board of Health and the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials have backed the order.
Janicek Media and First Bank have also offered support.
“On behalf of Frontier Airlines and our eleven thousand team members, we are in full support of Governor Jared Polis’ statewide mask mandate. The well-being of our citizens and livelihood of businesses across Colorado is dependent upon our ability as a state and as a nation to gain control of Covid-19 which we can easily achieve if everyone wears a mask. The economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic on the travel industry, including airlines, is costing billions of dollars and threatening the viability of many businesses, yet if everyone can come together on this one thing – simply wearing a face covering in public – we can get back on the path to recovery and, most importantly, protect the health of our citizens,” Barry Biffle CEO, Frontier Airlines.
“The Aspen Chamber Resort Association was pleased to work together with our member businesses and public health officials to get our community to open safely to both residents and visitors. At this time, Pitkin County does have a mandate requiring facemasks to be worn in all indoor public places. A statewide mandate would be supporting our local efforts by eliminating any confusion travelers are experiencing while traveling throughout our state this summer. It supports the efforts of the employees in our community who are on the front lines engaging with and educating our guests on our local regulations. A statewide mandate takes the pressure off of our employees and local officials and shows a united front for Colorado. Our goal is to find the delicate balance between keeping our community safe, while continuing to keep our economy open, and if the state can support those efforts with this mandate, it most certainly will create an environment for Aspen, and Colorado to thrive,” Debbie Braun, President & CEO, Aspen Chamber Resort Association.
House Speaker KC Becker and Majority Leader Alec Garnett and other state legislators have backed the mask order. Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation including Senator Michael Bennet, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Rep. Jason Crow backed the statewide mask order. Summit County Government released a letter of support, Markey Butler, Mayor, Town of Snowmass Village and Mayor of Breckenridge endorsed the order.