Commissioners vote to opt out of Tri-County Health mask mandate

Board also directed staff to develop a proposal for separating from Tri-County Health.

Commissioner District II Roger Partridge, Commissioner, Commissioner District III Lora Thomas, and Commissioner District 1 Abe Laydon

The Board of Douglas County Commissioners today directed the County Attorney to issue a formal statement to the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD), activating the opt-out clause in the public health agency’s forthcoming mask mandate order, as well as written notice of intent to withdraw from TCDH.

“Effective immediately, our Board directed staff to begin the work of creating a separate public health department that will appropriately meet the needs of Douglas County,” said Roger Partridge, County Commissioner and Board Chair.

“Regarding the mask mandate opt-out, our remarkably favorable public health data, paired with the community’s current 75% mask-wearing voluntary compliance observed by TCHD, and based on Dr. Douglas’ recommendation that a mask mandate was not necessary for Douglas County, led us to this conclusion,” said Commissioner Abe Laydon.

“We question the enforceability and efficacy of the mask mandate order, believing that trusting our citizens and business community to continue doing what they do, without a mandate, is the best approach,” said Commissioner Lora Thomas.

On July 8, the Tri-County Health Department Board of Health voted in favor of issuing the mask mandate order for Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties.

In addition to wearing a cloth face covering, and staying home when you are sick, the spread of COVID-19 can be reduced through physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Learn more about protecting yourself and others at

Be among the first to receive news as it happens. Sign up here and select your specific news focus and delivery preferences.