Face Covering Requirement
Each person within Boulder County, except as specifically exempted below, must wear a face covering whenever they are outside their residence and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance of at least 6 feet from any non-household members. These requirements supplement and are in addition to any social distancing orders. View the full public health order, and the current extension of the order. The order does not have an end date and will remain in place until it is rescinded.
A Face Covering is not required for:
- A person alone in a single, fully enclosed room in any commercial or retail setting if others outside of that person’s household are not present and the public does not regularly visit the room. Individuals working alone must put on a Face Covering when:
- Coworkers are 6 feet or closer to them
- When being visited by a client/customer
- Anywhere members of the public or other coworkers are regularly present
- Any person whose health would be inhibited by wearing a Face Covering. If an employee’s health would be inhibited by wearing a Face Covering while at work, they must document those concerns with their employer.
- Any child aged twelve years or younger.
- Parents and caregivers must supervise use of Face Coverings by children to avoid misuse.
- Children under age three should not wear a Face Covering because of the risk of suffocation.
- First responders if they need to respond to an immediate threat. This order does not pre-empt CDPHE Order 20-26 which requires first responders to wear Face Coverings.
Other Face Covering Orders
- City of Boulder
- City of Lafayette
- City of Louisville
- Town of Superior
- Town of Erie
- Colorado Face Mask Requirement for Critical Businesses & Mass Transit
- Face Covering Poster: Requirements for the Public by city, town, county, state
- Face Covering Poster: Requirements for the Public by city, town, county, state (Spanish)
- Face Covering Poster: Requirements for Employees by city, town, county, state
- Face Covering Poster: Requirements for Employees by city, town, county, state (Spanish)
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 his or her 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.
After looking closely at modeling data by the CU School of Public Health which suggests that 50% use of face coverings that are even 50% effective (a reasonable estimate based on lab studies) could, even with imperfect use, reduce infectiousness from asymptomatic persons by 13% and could thus is an important component of relaxing social distancing measures and re-opening businesses.
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.
Authority & Penalties
Boulder County Public Health will use an education first approach to enforcement. However, authority from this order comes from Colorado Revised Statutes (“C.R.S.”) §§ 25-1-506, 508, 509, and 516. Penalties are outlined in Colorado Revised Statues C.R.S. §§ 25-1-114 and 25-1-516, including a fine of up to $5000 and imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year.
Concerns about others not wearing face coverings in public can:
- Call the Public Health Call Center at 720-776-0822 or
- Complete the online concern form
Boulder County Public Health staff will determine if there has been a violation of a public health order and will follow up with the business or work with law enforcement, if needed.
Businesses may use the sample face covering script to assist with conversations with patrons regarding face coverings.
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
- The Colorado Mask Project – Free face coverings locally
- The Hidden Treasure 2 -Longmont, CO – Free face coverings locally
- Extreme Pro Apparel -Broomfield, CO – Retail sales face coverings
- Alexanders Aesthetics II – Louisville, CO
- National retailers online – Retail sales face coverings:
How to make face coverings
- How to make an easy, no sew face covering with handkerchief/fabric and 2 rubber bands
- DYI how to guides: Fabric Selection, materials, designs and patterns:
- Hand sewn mask instructions
- National Jewish – Making Masks for Healthcare Workers
- Colorado Mask Project