The city of Englewood, Colorado, just south of Denver, is requiring all of its residents to wear face masks amid a spike in coronavirus cases — and violators could face up to a year behind bars, coupled with a hefty fine.
The emergency order, issued by City Manager J. Shawn Lewis and approved by the city council Monday, went into effect Thursday. It states that everyone over the age of 6 will be required to wear a mask while outside their homes.
Face masks must be worn inside any retail or commercial business, governmental office, or health care facility, including veterinary offices, officials say.
They must also be worn while waiting for or riding on public transportation, as well as inside taxis or other ride-sharing vehicles.
Face masks are not required inside personal offices as long as co-workers are working at least six feet away and there are no clients or customers in the room.
First offenders will be ticketed with a $15 fine, and second and subsequent offenders will have to shell out $25.
However, the order states that the maximum penalty is a fine of up to $2,650, 360 days behind bars or both.
“Any person charged with an offense under this Emergency Order may choose to enter a plea of not guilty and be entitled to a trial as authorized by the law,” the order states.
Colorado has reported 35,116 coronavirus cases and 1,704 deaths, the latest data shows.
Denver County, with 7,563 confirmed cases, has the highest infection rate in the state.