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BOCC response to Gov. Polis' executive order

Posted on 07/17/2020
BOCC response to Gov. Polis' executive order

As it has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Weld County Board of Commissioners share a commitment to protecting public health and ensuring our economy can move forward and provide for a safe work environment. As we all continue to work through obstacles presented by COVID-19, Weld County Commissioners stand firm in their belief that reducing the spread of COVID-19 comes down to personal responsibility, not government mandates.

The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment will not enforce Gov. Polis’ executive order, which has no legal effect, requiring residents to wear non-medical face coverings indoors.

The power of the state executive is limited by state statute. There are specific powers granted to the Governor to enact executive orders. However, Gov. Polis does not have the legal authority through an executive order or by other means to require citizens to wear masks. Colorado Revised Statutes Sections 25-33.5-704 and 24-33.5-704.5 both mention the governor’s authority to enact executive orders but neither grants him the authority to enact a mask order within the state.

“In Weld County, we believe in the individual responsibility of citizens to determine how best to protect themselves, their family, their business and their consumers,” Weld County Chair Mike Freeman said. “Where the governor wants to force everyone to wear a mask, we believe in our citizens’ individual right to make that determination.”

The Commissioners continue to urge Weld County residents to use the same common-sense approach and to adhere to preventative measures to protect themselves against COVID-19: Wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces often, cover your cough, keep six feet of distance from others, and if people feel sick, stay home.

The public should stay informed. For detailed guidance, please consult the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.