Jefferson County Residents & Visitors Must Wear a Mask in Indoor Public Spaces
Effective April 5, JCPH issued Public Health Order 20-008 (First Amended), which requires residents and visitors to wear a face covering while in indoor 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 two 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 Mask?
Masks prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing or coughing. If everyone wears a cloth face covering when in indoor public spaces, 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.
- 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 if I have a medical condition and can't wear a mask?
- Do I have to wear it when exercising/playing sports?
- 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?
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 website. 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 mask design instructions (PDF).. 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.
What about indoor sports?
Yes, masks must be worn while playing indoor sports. There are no exemptions based on type of sport, and if the sport cannot be played safely while wearing a mask, it should not take place. You may remove the mask temporarily to catch your breath.
Do I have to wear a face covering when exercising outdoors or participating in a sports activity?
No. However, even though masks are no longer required to be worn outdoors in Jeffco, we remind everyone that wearing a mask in all public settings where you’re in close proximity to others you don’t live with is the safest route.
- Outdoor transmission is affected by numerous factors, including duration of exposure, frequency of exposure, density of gathering, whether masks were used and the overall rate of transmission in the county.
- Transmission is more likely to occur indoors than outdoors, but outdoor transmission can occur. Being outdoors is not completely safe.
- Outdoor transmission is more likely to occur when people gather in large, dense groups and circulate within crowds.
- Outdoor transmission is more likely to occur when people are around others who are shouting, singing or breathing heavily as a result of physical activity.
- People are encouraged to keep a mask in their pocket when in outdoor public spaces so it is easily accessible whenever they find themselves in a higher risk setting.
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?
Mask wearing remains an effective, evidence-based strategy in minimizing transmission of the virus. Public health experts continue to review science behind masks. Read more from CDC's website.