CBS4 Finds Some Colorado Businesses Not Enforcing Mask Mandates, As Health Departments Receive Complaints

As mask mandates continue to be in effect in some Colorado counties, complaints of violations are coming in to area health agencies. Denver Public Health Inspections reports 60 businesses allowing people in indoor public spaces without face coverings.

So far, the Tri-County Health Department has received 70 for Arapahoe and Adams County. Jefferson County reports just a handful.

CBS4 visited a shopping mall in Jefferson County which has a mask mandate. On the doors, the sign reads, “Do not enter this facility without wearing a mask.”

“I think it’s kind of irresponsible not to wear your mask given that you might infect somebody else,” said shopper Katie Sosa.

She had a mask, and many others did not have them on inside. No one appeared to challenge them, and they were able to enter stores.

“The mandate does require that they post signage saying that masks are required to enter a business, and we expect everyone who enters a business will wear a mask,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, the Jefferson County Executive Director in the Department of Public Health.

She says their effort is to educate and provide guidance, not to punish.

CBS4 found a sign at a liquor store wrongfully claiming wearing masks was optional.

“I am wondering why your sign says ‘Mask is optional,’” CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked.

The owner told CBS4 she doesn’t want to confront people without masks. She also said she knows most of her customers are vaccinated.

In Denver, dozens of complaints have already been lodged against businesses. Danica Lee, the Director of Public Health Inspections, said they do act on those in violation of the mandate.

“We will issue an order during that first contact either remotely or in person,” said Lee.

She says repeat violations can bring a fine.

Last week, hundreds in Jefferson County protested against a mask mandate. Many said they would just go elsewhere to shop.

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