MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. – The mask mandate will remain unchanged in Manitou Springs despite changes made to the statewide mandate announced by Governor Jared Polis Friday.
The mandate first issued in July 2020 requires face masks to be worn in all local businesses as well as outdoors within 6-feet of other people.
On Friday, Governor Polis announced the state will follow CDC guidance for mask requirements which states wearing masks in public is no longer mandatory, yet strongly encouraged for those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The announcement comes after Manitou Spring’s city council meeting last week and a press release to business owners keeping the mandate unchanged. They added tourism, and high COVID-19 case rates were the reasons behind the move.
“El Paso county is way over the ceiling… The masks are required indoors if we have 3,500 cases per 100,000 people, and in El Paso County, it’s roughly 6 and half times what it should be. So in my mind, it seems likely we still need to require masks indoors,” John Graham, Manitou Springs mayor, said.
Some Manitou Springs employees said most visitors understand the mask order but say some still try to fight it.
“Some people are downright hostile about it, and I don’t need to know your health history if you have a vaccine or not; it’s none of my business,” Lisa Brumlik, Bear Cave employee, said.
“In the last couple of months with different states lifting their mandates, we have had a couple of customers come in without them…but overall, they have pretty willing to comply with our mandates here,” Jordan Bremer, Flying Eagle employee, said.
City council members said this will remain unchanged for now and added those who refuse the order could be given a fine or arrested for trespassing.
No date has been set by council members to revisit the issue.