DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today announced a Statewide mask order, directing Coloradans to wear a face covering while indoors. This Executive Order goes into effect at midnight tonight. The Governor also provided an update on the State’s response to COVID-19.
“Wearing a mask is an easy and highly effective way to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. The more we wear masks, the safer we will be and the stronger our economy will grow,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Unfortunately, this pandemic is far from over, cases are up, and we have to find a way to live sustainably while protecting ourselves and those around us. Masks are the ticket to the Colorado we love and a critical part of supporting Colorado’s economy and prosperity. The best way to support Colorado workers and businesses right now is to wear a mask. I’ve said this from the beginning, and it’s still true today: together, we will get through this.”
The Governor was joined by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, and State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy at the announcement.
Coloradans older than 10 years old must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering or moving within any public indoor space. A public indoor space is defined as any enclosed indoor area that is publicly or privately owned, managed or operated to which individuals have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, and that is accessible to the public, serves as a place of employment, or is an entity providing services. Public Indoor Space does not mean a person’s residence, including a room in a motel or hotel or a residential room for students at an educational facility. This includes wearing a face covering while using or waiting to use the services of any taxi, bus, light rail, train, car service, ride-sharing or similar service, or Mass Transportation Operations. Individuals 10 years old and younger, and those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering are exempt from this Executive Order.
Individuals performing the following activities are also exempt from the requirements of the Executive Order while the activity is being performed:
Individuals who are hearing impaired or otherwise disabled or who are communicating with someone who is hearing impaired or otherwise disabled and where the ability to see the mouth is essential to communication;
Individuals who are seated at a food service establishment;
Individuals who are exercising alone or with others from the individual’s household and a face covering would interfere with the activity;
Individuals who are receiving a personal service where the temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
Individuals who enter a business or receive services and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes;
Individuals who are actively engaged in a public safety role such as law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel;
Individuals who are officiating at a religious service; or
Individuals who are giving a speech for broadcast or an audience.
To protect workers, customers, and the community, no business serving the public in a Public Indoor Space may provide service to a customer or allow a customer to enter or move within that Public Indoor Space, unless the customer is wearing a face covering. “Any individual who knowingly enters or remains in a Public Indoor Space in violation of the terms of this Executive Order may be subject to civil or criminal penalties, including but not limited to prosecution for trespass,” reads the Executive Order.
Counties that certify for Protect Our Neighbors may choose to become exempt.
The Governor also announced that the State is going to put a two-week pause on issuing any new variances to counties in the State. CDPHE is having conversations with counties who already have variances but have fallen out of compliance by recording higher levels of the virus than permitted by their variances. These counties must take urgent mitigation steps to suppress the virus or they risk losing their variances. This is the prudent thing to do at this moment in time as Colorado gathers more data about the behavior of this virus.