Who Should Wear a Face Covering?
JCPH strongly recommends that individuals wear a non-medical mask or cloth face covering when leaving home, especially in settings where you will be around others who do not live in your immediate household. Face coverings should not be worn by young children under age 3, anyone who has medical conditions that prevent them from wearing it or anyone who is unable to remove it without assistance.
Additionally, employees who interact with the public and those who cannot maintain at least six feet of distance from coworkers are required to wear a mask or face covering according to the statewide Safer-at-Home order. For more information on those requirements, please review the industry specific guidance for your business.
Note: Some local jurisdictions in Jefferson County require everyone to wear a mask (both individuals and employees) — please always consult your local jurisdiction’s requirements.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I get a face covering?
- How do I wear it?
- How do I clean it?
- If not wearing it, can a business turn me away?
- Should I wear it when being active?
- Who should wear medical-grade masks?
Where can I get a face covering?
Many online retailers are selling masks. However, you can also make one using common materials you already have at home. Instructions for making homemade masks can be found at the Colorado Mask Project.
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.
Can a business turn away customers if they are not wearing a mask?
Yes. Businesses can and are encouraged to require non-medical mask wearing by the general public. However, some people may have a medical condition (whether visible or not) that prevents them from wearing a face covering. Only those that are able to wear face coverings safely should be required to wear one.
Should I wear a face covering when being active outdoors?
Under the state’s Safer-at-Home order, you can be active in areas where you can practice safe physical distancing (at least 6 feet away from others) and in groups of 10 or less, within 10 miles from your home. If you are being active with people who do not live in your household, where you could encounter others and where physical distancing is difficult to maintain, wearing a face covering is recommended. Read more about local recreation here.
Explore research articles related to use of face coverings:
- A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers
- COVID-19 and the Risk to Health Care Workers - A Case Report
- COVID-19 and the Use of Cloth Face Masks
- Does That Face Mask Really Protect You?
- Effectiveness of Surgical and Cotton Masks in Blocking SARSCoV-2- A Controlled Comparison in 4 Patients
- Face Masks Against COVID-19 - An Evidence Review
- Mask Use, Hand Hygiene, and Seasonal Influenza-Like Illness among Young Adults
- Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data
- Medical Masks vs. N95 Respirators for Preventing COVID-19 in Health Care Workers
- Moving Personal Protective Equipment Into the Community
- Physical interventions to interrupt the spread of respiratory viruses
- Professional and Home-Made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections among the General Population
- Rational use of face masks in the COVID-19 pandemic
- Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks
- Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
- What is the efficacy of standard face masks compared to respirator masks in preventing COVID-type respiratory illnesses in primary care staff?