Basalt Town Hall

Basalt Town Hall.

The Basalt Town Council will vote Tuesday night on extending its health order requiring face coverings in public places until Aug. 25 to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Council finds this action “is immediately necessary to preserve the life, health and safety of the Town and its residents,” according to Res. 28, series of 2020, which will be voted on July 28.

The town’s original public health order on face masks in certain circumstances was originally enacted in May and has been extended twice since that time. During the June 23 meeting where it was last discussed, councilwoman Elyse Hottel said she favored the extension but didn’t want the mask requirement to continue “indefinitely.” The resolution passed unanimously.

Face coverings remain an important tool in the toolbox to push back against the virus which is spread through droplets transmitted by talking, sneezing and coughing, the town has maintained.

Failure to comply with the health order is subject to penalties written into Section 1-82 of the Basalt Municipal Code. It reads: “In the event of a citation, the fine for the first offense shall not exceed $50 and the fine for the second offense shall not exceed $200.”

During last week’s Pitkin County public health board meeting, medical officer Dr. Kim Levin shared results of a comprehensive study on the efficacy of masks and social distancing in minimizing community spread and suggested wearing a face covering remains “the most effective practice” an individual can perform.