Lone Tree order requires shoppers to wear face coverings

Mayor Jackie Millet made the order May 1

Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet issued an executive order temporarily requiring people to wear face coverings in its indoor retail spaces.
Council called a Thursday afternoon emergency meeting to publicly discuss the city's approach to reopening its economy. Douglas County is exempt from the Tri-County Health Department's May 8 extension of the stay-at-home order, barring non-essential businesses to remain closed to in-person shopping. Council did not make any official action on the matter.
Millet made the order the evening of May 1. Some places, like the Park Meadows mall and Costco, already required the use of face masks in their stores.
Council and staff in the afternoon Microsoft Teams virtual meeting had consensus that the order would be necessary.
Beginning May 1, retailers in the Lone Tree and the county can have customers shop in-store, provided the business follows social distancing guidelines. Employees are required to wear cloth face coverings. Customers are strongly encouraged to do the same.
Lone Tree's temporary order would require customers to wear a cloth face covering at indoor retail stores.
“Our number one goal is to safely reopen the economy,” Hoffman said. “Any tool we have to help get people back to work is a tool we should be using.”
Three people submitted public comment, two of whom did not live in Lone Tree. All three expressed concern over a municipality requiring the use of face masks. One Parker woman said she will boycott the city if said order is enacted.
During the discussion, council and staff alluded to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding face coverings. The CDC reports though wearing a mask may not keep the wearer from getting sick, it is more effective in preventing transmission to another person, especially in an indoor space.
“There has been a lot of confusion about the pandemic in general,” Mayor Jackie Millet said. “Part of the confusion has been that guidance continues to change on what we should be doing and what we shouldn't be doing as a city. We, as a community and a country, certainly prize our personal freedom and the idea of limiting anybody's access or opportunities is something we do not want to do.”
The city's position to reopen its economy is unique, Millet said.
The city's daytime population usually doubles during the day thanks to the myriad office spaces and retail options. The city is heavily reliant on sales tax, more so than Parker, Castle Rock or Highlands Ranch.
City officials recently reported it expects the city's projected year-end general fund revenue total to decline by about 9%.
Prior to the masks discussion, council passed an emergency ordinance giving local enforcement authority over violations of orders made by the state or outside agency, like the statewide stay-at-home order that recently lifted and now the county-wide safer-at-home order from the Tri-County Health Department.
City councilmembers and staff discussed the need for the ordinance and were in consensus that the ordinance was necessary to move forward opening the city's economy.
The city refers to the state's guidance regarding wearing face coverings in office spaces. Large office spaces are allowed to operate at 50% capacity, by state order.
“We sit in a very unique situation here, like very few of our compatriots, where we're in a situation where the influx of people coming into our city looks different than other folks', especially from a shopping perspective,” Councilmember Cathie Brunnick said. “It's really incumbent on us, as we move forward, to look at the ways in which we can start to ensure we don't spike to the degree that would be dangerous to the community.”


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