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Face Coverings & Masks

Face Coverings & Masks

En Español

Boulder County

On April 2, Boulder County Amended its face covering order. The changes to the order include:

  • Boulder County residents must wear a face covering whenever entering or within any public indoor space that is not that person’s residence, or 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.
  • All individuals older than ten years old must wear a face covering in public indoor spaces in Boulder County at all times.
  • When outdoors, individuals are not required to use face covering. However, a face covering is recommended if social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Participants of indoor sports must wear a face covering pursuant to Boulder County’s Face Covering Sports Guidance. If playing outdoors, a face covering is not required but is recommended.

State of Colorado

In addition, a mandatory mask-wearing requirement for Colorado that first went into effect in July 2020 was recently amended in Executive Order D 2021 079 on April 3, 2021.

The updated Executive Order will continue to require mask-wearing for all counties in schools (including extracurricular activities), child care centers, indoor children’s camps, public-facing state government facilities, emergency medical and other healthcare settings, personal services and limited healthcare settings as defined by Public Health Order (PHO) 20-36, congregate care facilities, prisons, and jails. In counties with one-week disease incidence rates over 35 per 100,000 — which are known in Dial 3.0 as blue, yellow, orange, red, and purple counties — masks must also be worn in public indoor settings where 10 or more unvaccinated individuals or individuals of unknown vaccination status are present.

Also see the Colorado guidance for wearing masks.

Other Face Covering Orders
In situations where local municipalities or school districts also have face covering orders in place, the most protective order takes precedence.

Definition of “Face Covering”

“Face Covering,” means a covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. Face Coverings may be factory- or handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials.

Definition of Residence

Residence is defined as the property where an individual resides with other members of their household.

  • Includes a motor vehicle when being used for personal use by an individual and their same household.
  • Does not include any common areas that may be used by multiple households.
  • Does not include any vehicle used for public transportation, paratransit vehicles, taxis, private car services, or ride-sharing vehicles when used for that purpose.

Face Covering Fit & Care

  • Face Coverings should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape or be made of disposable material.
  • Face Coverings must cover the nose and mouth at all times whenever a person is within 6 feet of non-household members, and should remain in place until they can be removed safely.
  • Workers: If a worker’s Face Covering moves during work, it must be replaced with one that does not need to be frequently adjusted in order to reduce touching of the face.
  • Face Coverings should be replaced when they become dirty, wet, and/or difficult to breathe through.

Face Covering sewing patterns, fit and care information:

Note: Any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling is not a Face Covering under the Order and should not be used to comply. Valves of that type permit droplet release from the mask which can put others nearby at risk.


Most public health experts agree that there is enough information to say that face coverings will reduce the spread of large droplets, and that face masks are one important tool to use in conjunction with others. Proper donning and doffing of face coverings, appropriate laundering of face coverings, and continued vigilance in washing hands and not touching the face are important components to the effectiveness of face coverings. We must use every tool possible to halt the spread of the disease – and facial coverings where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained, along with testing, and contact tracing of people that have been exposed are important strategies.


Anyone who feels they are being discriminated against or retaliated against by their employer can contact the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Obtaining a Mask

Where to get Face Coverings

How to make face coverings

Contact Us

Boulder County Public Health

Main: 303-441-1100
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