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Face Coverings & Masks
Senior woman and her adult daughter enjoying the outdoors together with masks on

Face Coverings & Masks

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On June 10, Boulder County’s facial covering order expired and will not be extended or renewed at this time. State facial covering requirements still apply.

BCPH strongly recommends the following health and safety guidelines:

Boulder County Masking Recommendations

Boulder County Recommendations

State facial covering requirements still apply. BCPH strongly recommends the following:

Healthcare Settings

  • Masks be worn indoors for all individuals age 2 and over except as follows:
    • Staff may remove their face covering with proof of full vaccination when in non-public portions of such facilities
    • For outpatient facilities, medical providers can permit a patient or other individuals to remove their face covering in a private room with proof of full vaccination

Schools, Childcare and Summer Camps (including extracurricular activities)

  • Unvaccinated individuals age 2 and over wear a face covering when indoors
  • Allow individuals to remove their face covering only with proof of vaccination status
  • When one or more students are unvaccinated, other adults in the room wear a face covering as modeling behavior

Jails and Prisons

  • Require face coverings unless proof of vaccination provided


  • Individuals 2+ who have not been fully vaccinated continue to practice social distancing, handwashing and wearing face coverings when near members of other households who are not fully vaccinated
  • Individuals under 2 maintain six feet of distance from members of other households who have not yet been fully vaccinated when outside of childcare or other school settings

Businesses, Organizations and Indoor Spaces

Evaluate whether to require a face covering indoors until 80% of the total population in Boulder County has been fully vaccinated with the following considerations:

  • For public-facing businesses and organizations:
    • Unvaccinated staff wear a face covering when interacting with others indoors
    • If staff is fully vaccinated and they are allowed to remove their masks per that business, post a notice at the entrance to inform the public why staff are not wearing masks
    • Require facial coverings for the public while indoors if proof of vaccination is provided or if the business is unable to request vaccination status
    • Review the State’s Civil Rights Guidance prior to implementing face covering policies
  • For businesses and organizations that are not public-facing and have stable groups of individuals, such as offices, gyms, private events and other classes with known membership:
    • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated wear a face covering whenever they are around other individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
    • Implement policies to allow individuals, particularly those who are unable to get vaccinated (e.g. due to age) or who have compromised immunity, to assess their own risk
    • Review the State’s Civil Rights Guidance prior to implementing face covering policies

Anyone with questions regarding this guidance should contact the Boulder County Call Center at 720-776-0822 or view BCPH’s COVID-19 information.

State of Colorado Requirements and Recommendations

The Fourth Amended Public Health Order 20-38 requires unvaccinated people to wear masks in specific settings, including medical facilities, homeless shelters, prisons, and jails. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) encourages people who are not fully vaccinated to wear masks in all other public indoor spaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Masks are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated patients, residents, and visitors, and medical-grade masks are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff, in the following settings that serve vulnerable or at-risk populations:

  1. Homeless shelters;
  2. Prisons;
  3. Jails; and
  4. Emergency medical and other healthcare settings (including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, urgent care centers, clinics, doctors’ offices, and non-urgent care medical structures).
  5. Long-term Care Facilities and Residential Care Facilities: Assisted Living and Group Homes can allow visitors, staff and residents to unmask if they are fully vaccinated (proof of vaccination is required). Unvaccinated persons will still need to mask at this time. Get the latest information on Residential Care Facilities.
  6. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulated facilities (memory care, rehab facilities, long-term skilled nursing, nursing homes, etc.): All visitors, staff and residents must mask while in the facility unless dining and participating in activities.
    • Fully vaccinated visitors may join in dining, activities and outings with fully vaccinated residents.
    • Unvaccinated visitors may not participate in dining or activities at this time.
    • NOTE: other situations may affect masking requirements.

Fully vaccinated people can go without masks in public indoor spaces unless the setting requires otherwise.

Unvaccinated people are encouraged to continue wearing masks in all public indoor spaces.

People who are not required by the order to wear a mask, even if unvaccinated, include:

  • People who are 11 years old and younger.
  • People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.

Children younger than 2 years old should NOT wear masks.

See the Colorado guidance for wearing masks.

Facial Coverings

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 six 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.


Face masks are one important tool to use in conjunction with others to help end the pandemic. Proper use 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.


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

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Boulder County Public Health

Main: 303-441-1100
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