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Business owners prepare, reflect ahead of reinstated mask mandate

Denver's new public health order begins Wednesday
Business owners prepare, reflect ahead of reinstated mask mandate
Posted at 10:12 PM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 01:32:35-05

DENVER — Across Denver, businesses and venues are preparing for a new wave of adjustments, some of which coincide with feelings of nervousness and anxiety.

"We've had conversations with a few of our staff that, frankly, are worried," said Ryan Cobbins, owner of Coffee at The Point in the historic Five Points neighborhood.

Cobbins has owned and operated the coffee shop for over a decade. He's witnessed his share of economic hurdles, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new, unique challenges for his business to endure.

"What we experienced during the last mask mandate is that there were not just a few, but several customers that were overly aggressive as my staff tried to do the right thing, which was to ask customers to put their masks on," Cobbins said.

Beginning Wednesday, the City and County of Denver will reinstate a public health order requiring masks at most businesses and venues for everybody ages 2 and older.

If locations choose not to require masks, they can implement a vaccine check for patrons. The vaccine check must show 95% of people inside the facility are fully vaccinated.

Cobbins is still deciding on how his business will implement the order.

"We will follow the mandate so that it doesn't compromise the safety of our staff," he said.

Denver joins a slew of other metro counties in implementing a mask mandate once again. Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties all reinstated public health orders this week.

Boulder, Pitkin, San Miguel and Larimer counties also rolled out new orders this fall.

Cobbins is hopeful that customers will be understanding.

"For the few that may get upset because somebody says, 'Let me see your vaccination card' or "Would you do me a favor and put your mask on?' maybe the message is empathy for all," he said.