Residents of Englewood, Colorado — located just south of Denver — could be facing both a hefty fine and a year of jail time if they are caught without masks in public.
The executive order is one of the latest examples of rather extreme measures being taken to combat the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic. The number of positive coronavirus cases has spiked in recent weeks as testing for COVID-19 has rapidly expanded. Democratic Party leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are calling for nationwide federal mask mandate to cover the entire country. In the meantime, Democrats at the state and local levels are taking measures into their own hands.
Englewood’s emergency measure was issued by City Manager J. Shawn Lewis. Individuals over 6 years of age are legally required to wear facial coverings in public spaces, with some exceptions for private offices where employees are working at least six feet apart from one another. Penalties begin with a $15 fine, with subsequent offenses punished with a $25 fine. From there, however, the order gets ridiculous.
Thanks to Lewis, the maximum penalty for failing to wear a facial covering in public is $2,650, and 360 days in jail.
“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 says.
The issue of mask wearing being left to local and state authorities has been a double edged sword. In Texas, for instance, many counties are simply refusing to enforce Governor Greg Abbot’s mask order. In Alabama, law enforcement is failing to get its own personnel to comply. When Huntsville police arrested 33-year-old Courtney Moore, he was made to remove his facial covering when taken to jail — where inmates are not provided with masks. Prisons and jails have become known as hotbeds for COVID-19.
America really needs to make up its mind on how to approach this. But in any case, the idea of jailing someone for breaking a rule that is different everywhere you go is patently insane. Unfortunately, the Democrats have made it clear that there is no line they won’t cross on this issue.