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Weld County residents respond to mask mandate after sheriff's office refuses to enforce order

Shops in Greeley CO
Posted at 11:15 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 02:25:41-04

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GREELEY, Colo. -- There are two stores that sit right next to each other in Greeley. But though they share a wall, they could not be further apart when it comes to opinions on masks.

The owner of the Coronado Barber Shop says masks are detrimental, harmful to her business. The owner of Mom's Popcorn right next door has signs plastered across her windows telling visitors: no mask, no service.

"I have had it enforced here since we opened back up in the first week of May," said Rebecca Victor, the owners of Mom's Popcorn. "You can't go in without a shirt, you can't go in without shoes, so what's the big deal. Just put a mask on."

"The guy that just left. He was not going to get a haircut unless he did not have to wear a mask," explained Stephanie Hayes, the owners of Coronado Barbershop. "So that is a deterrent. It is a huge deterrent."

The debate is over face masks, their effectiveness, and the proper regulations for when they should be implemented. Some saying they are essential while others calling them ineffective.

Gov. Jared Polis implemented a mask order on Friday across the state of Colorado. Though it is now law across the state, sheriff's offices in numerous counties have said they will not enforce the mandate, including in Weld County, where the store owners reside.

"We just think it is more reasonable to have that conversation with people than to just arrest people or issue a citation," said Joe Moylan, spokesperson for the Weld County Sheriff’s Office. "The Weld County Sheriff’s Office is approaching it the same way we did with the stay-at-home orders. We are encouraging voluntary compliance."

Though the store owners rarely agree on masks, they do agree with the sheriff's department.

"I think they have other jobs to do. They do not need to worry about a mask," said Hayes at the barbershop. "There is too much other stuff going on."

"I don’t want to beat them up for it or nothing. But I just want people to do it on their own," explained Victor at the popcorn shop. "I think each person has to be responsible."