Southern Colorado Mayors open up about possible mask mandate


SOUTHERN COLORADO — COVID-19 taking southern Colorado by storm, forcing businesses to shut down, months later– businesses are reopening under variances, but cases are on the rise in Colorado Springs, according to Mayor John Suthers.

“The numbers are going up and that’s nothing in comparison to other states we have seen,” Mayor Suthers said. “We are going on the wrong direction.”

Down south in Pueblo, COVID-19 numbers remain low but Mayor Nick Gradisar is also concerned about an upward trend.

“We got variance allowed us to open and we can only keep them open if we keep it under control,” Mayor Gradisar said.

Across Colorado many cities have taken a stand and are requiring masks.

Mayor Suthers said while enforcing a mandate may be difficult, he will be supporting local businesses.

He says city sales tax revenue for the month of May was down by 3.3 percent compared to last year. He believes it could be possible for City Council to take up the issue next week and if certain stipulations are met he will not veto the ordinance.

“I just cant understand given what we are facing why people aren’t wearing and I question more inclined simply because the mayor says so,” said Mayor Suthers.

Gradisar echoing a similar stand, right now sales taxes for the month of May were up by five percent compared to last year. He says a mandate would come from the county health department.

Again, no mandates are in place but both leaders are not ruling the possibility of a change.

UCHealth pulled some data for various three-day time periods, all Mondays-Wednesday when testing demand is generally the highest at the drive-through tent off Parkside Drive, near Memorial Park in Colorado Springs. Demand is clearly up.

April 27-29: 542 people

May 11-13: 621 people

June 8-10: 501 people

June 15-18: 640 people

June 22-24: 742 people

June 29-July 1: 844 people

July 6-8: 1,006 people

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