Colorado Lawmakers Tighten Public Health Rules At Capitol For Rest Of Session

May 25, 2020
Colorado State Capitol Statehouse 2020 LegislatureColorado State Capitol Statehouse 2020 LegislatureHart Van Denburg/CPR News
The Colorado State Capitol in Denver.

When the state Capitol opens on Tuesday for the annual legislative session the public will be required to wear masks. It's a change from the informal rules that legislative leaders adopted earlier. In another shift, members of the public will be required to leave the Capitol if they have a temperature of 100.4 F or higher. Legislative leaders had adopted less strict rules that did not mandate who could enter the building. 

Under the new procedures, people who pass the temperature check will wear a wrist band. 

“We’re trying to be in compliance with public health guidelines,” said Democratic Rep. Meg Froelich who spearheaded a bipartisan effort to come up with a safety plan. She said she supports the latest changes. “We put the rules in place, but the missing piece was enforcement.” 

Under statewide health orders, companies are only supposed to allow half of their employees into the office at a time, with strict social distancing. In Denver, masks are required for anyone who enters a retail or commercial business

State lawmakers will sit farther apart in their seats. In the House, some lawmakers will participate from the public viewing gallery to allow for more social distancing. The legislature shut down in mid-March and temporarily adjourned due to the spread of COVID-19. Lawmakers are expected to be back in session for about three weeks.