DENVER — A judge issued a temporary injunction Thursday requiring Faith Christian Academy to comply with Jefferson County’s mask mandate for students and ordering the school to allow inspection by county public health officials.
District Judge Randall Arp ruled that the county’s mask mandate didn’t violate the constitutional right to freedom of religion, and that Gov. Jared Polis allowing the state declaration of emergency to expire does not mean that local public health agencies can’t impose orders on their own.
“The court will note that the health order was not faith-based or designated at religious practice,” he said. “It was designated to apply to schools, which then also include religious or church schools.”
The temporary injunction, which had been sought by Jefferson County Public Health, will remain in place until the end of the school year or May 31 at the latest, unless another resolution is reached before then.
The ruling follows a three-day hearing that began Tuesday, the courtroom overflowing with school supporters.