Governor Polis Issues Statewide Face Mask Order

Governor Polis Issues Statewide Face Mask Order

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Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a statewide face mask order that will go into effect at 12 a.m. on Friday, July 17.

The Executive Order will require everyone in Colorado over the age of 10 to wear a mask or other facial covering while in public indoor spaces. The order is effective for at least 30 days.

The statewide order follows four weeks of steadily rising COVID-19 cases in Colorado, including a 40% uptick last week and increasing hospitalizations. State officials expressed that fatigue in best practices including physical distancing and face coverings has led to the rise in cases, and are hopeful that the mask order will provide more clarity, improve compliance and slow the transmission rate.

“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.”

With scientific data proving the efficacy of face masks, officials are hopeful that the new order will be helpful in controlling the pandemic. A key transmission route for COVID-19 is through the spread of respiratory droplets, and research shows that face coverings over the mouth and nose drastically reduce the rate of infection. Since a portion of people carrying the COVID-19 virus aren’t symptomatic, universal mask usage is a critical component to containing the spread.

San Miguel County officials are supportive of the new state mandate, after considering a county-specific face covering order.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

“The updated State Public Health Order will provide a unified message throughout the state, and alleviate any confusion regarding county specific mandates,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “We are truly in this together, and need to take this order seriously, and follow it as a community to slow the county and statewide spread of the virus.”

Franklin also stressed that in addition to wearing masks in public places per the order, people are advised to wear masks in outdoor public places where six-feet of physical distancing cannot be maintained.

“Masks are the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Franklin. “Physical distancing, proper hygiene, limiting group size and staying at home when sick further reduce the risk of contracting the virus.”

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