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Face Coverings & Masks

Face Coverings & Masks

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On July 24, Boulder County Amended its face covering order, to align with the State of Colorado face covering order issued on July 17 and extended on Sept. 12, in Boulder County:

  • All people ages 11 and older must wear a face covering when indoors in a public place, including their workplace. Parents/guardians are encouraged to help their child aged 3-10 to wear a face covering.
  • A face covering must be worn whenever you cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others you do not live with, including outdoors.

Residents are encouraged to review the State Guidance & FAQs for the state face covering order, as well as the guidance for reasonable accommodations due to the presence of COVID-19.

Face Covering Requirement

Each person in Boulder County, except as specifically exempted below, must wear a face covering in all public indoor spaces and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained 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 Boulder Colunty public health 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 The order does not have an end date and will remain in place until it is rescinded.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:

  • Any child aged ten years or younger.
    • Parents and caregivers must supervise use of Face Coverings by children to avoid misuse.
    • Children under age two 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

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.

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:

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

How to make face coverings

Contact Us

Boulder County Public Health

Main: 303-441-1100
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