Jefferson County Residents & Visitors Must Wear a Mask in Indoor & Outdoor Public Settings
Effective July 24 at midnight, JCPH issued Public Health Order 20-008, which requires residents and visitors to wear a face covering while in indoor and outdoor public settings.
People who do not have to wear a mask include:
- People who are 10 years old and younger
- People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering
- Children ages 2 and under should NOT wear masks or cloth face coverings
See the full order for a complete list of exemptions.
Businesses must post a sign on all entrances that states that no individual may enter the facility without wearing a face covering unless a specific exception applies. JCPH has provided a PDF copy of the sign in English and Spanish for businesses to print out and post on their entrances.
Why Wear a Face Covering?
Cloth face coverings prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing or coughing. If everyone wears a cloth face covering when out in public, such as when going to the grocery store, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced for the community. Since people can spread the virus before symptoms start, or even if people never have symptoms, wearing a cloth face covering can protect others around you.
- Wash your hands before and after putting your face covering in place.
- Make sure your face covering fits snugly and covers your mouth and nose.
- Do not touch the face covering again until you remove it.
- Masks should be positioned so that there is no need to adjust or otherwise touch the face frequently.
- If your mask becomes soiled or hard to breathe through, you should remove and not wear again until laundered.
- Remove your mask to eat and drink and if it is still in good repair, you may continue to use it.
- What's different between the state and JCPH orders?
- What if I have a medical condition and can't wear a mask?
- Do I have to wear it when exercising?
- Where can I get a face covering?
- How do I wear it?
- How do I clean it?
- Is the order law?
- What science supports mask wearing?
What is the difference between the statewide mandatory mask order and JCPH's order requiring facial coverings?
- The statewide order requires masks indoors whereas JCPH requires wearing a mask or face covering both indoors and outdoors. The outdoor requirement is only in situations where a distance of six (6) feet from individuals who are not members of their household cannot consistently be maintained.
Am I still required to wear a face covering/mask if I have a medical condition?
People who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition are not required to wear one, such as a person who has trouble breathing or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more from the CDC about other reasons face coverings may not be possible in every situation or for some people.
Some people with hearing impairments may use lip-reading to understand others. While PHO 20-008 provides an exemption to allow communication with those individuals who are hearing impaired, the University of Colorado’s Center for Inclusive Design and Excellence created DIY clear mask designs, which support lipreading visibility. Download instructions here. While not required, we strongly encourage any individuals in the deaf and hearing-impaired community to consider using a clear mask design such as the University of Colorado’s design.
Please also be aware that if you cannot medically tolerate a mask, you should consider limiting any visits to businesses to protect yourself and others. If you need help getting groceries or other necessities, you can call 211 to be connected to local resources that may be able to help you.
Do I need any documentation if I am exempt from the order?
No. However, if you cannot wear a face covering at work where one would otherwise be required, your employer may request documentation from you.
Do I need to wear a mask while exercising at an indoor gym?
Yes, mask-wearing requirements apply to everyone indoors, including people exercising. If you are in an indoor room with other patrons who are not a part of your household, then you need to wear a mask. You may remove it temporarily if you need to catch your breath or safely perform an activity, but wear a mask as much as feasible.
What about indoor sports?
Yes, masks should be worn while playing indoor sports unless it interferes with the activity. You may remove the mask temporarily to catch your breath if needed, or if you can’t wear appropriate safety equipment while wearing the mask. Wear a mask as much as feasible.
Do I have to wear a face covering when exercising outdoors or participating in a sports activity?
Individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering while exercising or engaging in a sports activity outdoors where the face covering would impair their ability to engage in the activity. Otherwise, you must wear a face covering if you cannot maintain social distancing (6 ft.) with people outside of your household. You must also wear a face covering in public spaces when going to and from exercising or participating in sports, such as when outside of a game, or going to and from the game location if you cannot maintain a distance of 6 ft. from others outside of your household.
Where can I get a face covering?
Face coverings can be purchased at local retailers and online, or they can be handmade or even made from common household items such as scarves, bandanas, t-shirts or towels. Instructions for making homemade masks can be found at the Colorado Mask Project.
The Jefferson County Chambers of Commerce also have resources listed on their websites on where to find face coverings. See our Business page for a links to all of the Chambers of Commerce websites.
How do I wear a non-medical mask/face covering?
The face covering should fit snugly, but comfortably over your chin, mouth and nose. It should not have any gaps where it sits on the face and allow for easy breathing. The face covering should stay in place at all times until it can be safely removed. Follow this easy guide for how to safely wear a face covering. Get more tips here.
How do I clean my face covering?
Wash your face covering routinely after use. A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering. Alternatively, face coverings may be cleaned by hand-washing it in warm water with antimicrobial soap.
Is the mask order a law?
Yes, executive orders and public health orders have the force of law. People who do not comply with the executive order may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.
What is the most recent science behind universal mask-wearing?
- Masks appear to help keep the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others by reducing the amount and distance infectious particles can spread through partial filtering of said particles.
- New evidence also suggests masks may also partially protect the wearer, especially from severe infection, by potentially reducing viral inoculation dose and/or face touching.
- Individuals are thought to be best protected when both they and most others in their community wear masks.
- A seafood processing plant in Oregon that implemented universal mask-wearing had a 95% asymptomatic rate among 124 infected workers.
- In yet another instance, two infected hair salon employees in Missouri did not transmit any apparent infections to any of their 139 clients in the setting of mask use by them and nearly all of their clients.
- Additionally, at a pediatric hemodialysis unit in Indiana which required universal masking, exposure to one symptomatic patient with COVID-19 likely resulted in marked asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic seroconversion among other patients (23%) and staff (44%).
- Hamsters simulated to wear masks had less severe COVID-19 infection than hamsters who were not simulated to wear masks when exposed to the virus.
- A recent meta-analysis suggests mask use may reduce infection rates by nearly 65%.
- A CDC editorial providing further evidence and advocating for universal mask-wearing is here.