Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday announced a statewide mandate to wear facial coverings over the mouth and nose in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Noting a “significant uptick” in COVID-19 cases in Colorado in the past several days, Polis told a press conference that he would be signing an executive order requiring every Coloradan over 10 years old to wear a mask while out in public.
“Look, in Colorado, there’s no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,” Polis, a Democrat, said. “Very simple.”
Citing the need to protect the economy and the people of Colorado, Polis said the statewide mask-wearing order would go into effect at midnight Thursday.
Exceptions to the new rule on facial coverings include eating at a restaurant, exercising alone, or receiving a service where a mask would interfere with its provision, such as getting a facial or having one’s beard trimmed. Also exempt are members of law enforcement, emergency medical responders and firefighters, as well as religious officiants people addressing a televised audience.
State epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy presented figures on the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado, noting a 40 percent week-over-week increase in new infections for the week ending July 5, compared to a 13 percent rise in the previous week.
“We’re concerned this trend is going to continue,” Herlihy said, adding that if it does, this could mean Colorado’s ICU bed capacity will be depleted sometime in early September, with a peak ICU need coming in October.
Colorado joins other states like Arkansas and Montana that have just rolled out mask-wearing mandates as many regions across the country are seeing a resurge of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.
The number of new daily infections has surged in the United States in recent weeks to levels roughly twice as high as during the first peak in April, according to a Worldometers compilation of official data. However, the number of new daily deaths due to the virus has fallen nationally to between one third and one half of the April peak.
The United States reported over 71,750 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to the Worldometers tally.
President Donald Trump and public health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 14 recommended Americans wear masks when necessary to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly bug.