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City of Boulder Requires Face Coverings in Critical Businesses

On Tuesday, April 28, Boulder City Council approved requiring all individuals to wear a face covering inside businesses that operate any public accommodation.

The order is effective immediately and applies to customers and employees within these buildings in city limits.

City of Boulder Emergency Order 2020-15 states “that the operation of critical businesses without requiring all present to wear face mask presents an imminent threat to life, health, safety and welfare of persons in our community. Accordingly, effective immediately no person shall operate any public accommodation, unless all persons therein including, employees, vendors and customers are required to wear non-medical face coverings as required by Public Health Order 20-26. Provided, however, that employees who do not come into contact with the public are not required to wear such face coverings; No person shall enter or remain in any public accommodation without wearing a non-medical face covering.”

The full City of Boulder order is available at: https://bouldercolorado.gov/city-emergency-orders-related-to-covid-19 . The order does not require medical grade masks. Face coverings may be a scarf, bandanna or a homemade face covering that covers the nose and mouth.

Because there are many options for individuals to repurpose cloths or to make a personalized face covering, the City of Boulder is not distributing masks to community members. City mask resources have been allocated to public safety staff who are likely to encounter individuals infected with the virus.

The Colorado Mask Project has valuable information on how to make and share DIY face coverings, as well as instructions for properly wearing and caring for masks. The website https://www.coloradomaskproject.com/ also discusses the science behind wearing DIY masks.

Here are some steps to make your own mask.

Design principles: 

1. Build a mask that tightly encloses the area around the nose and mouth, from the bridge of the nose down to the chin and extending onto the cheek beyond the corners of the mouth, so no gaps occur when talking or moving. 

2. Use mask material that is tightly woven but breathable. Possibly double layer the fabric. Masks must be made from washable material such as fabric. Choose a fabric that can handle high temperatures and bleach without shrinking or otherwise deforming. 

3. The mask should be tolerant of expected amounts of moisture from breathing. 

4. Suggested materials: outer layer tea cloth, inner layer of a microfleece to wick away moisture, and an inner tea cloth layer. Use an accordion fold to mimic a hospital mask as much as possible and use a fat woven shoelace type material to bind the sides (such as quilt binding). For straps, use elastic straps that loop behind the ears.

Report a violation of face coverings requirements at city businesses

City Boulder emergency order 2020-15 requires businesses to ensure employees, vendors and customers wear non-medical face coverings. Employees who do not come into contact with the public are not required to wear such face coverings. Persons with medical conditions, and with a doctor’s note, who cannot wear a face covering are exempt. To report a city business in violation, email [email protected].

Published: April 29, 2020

Media Contacts

Patrick von Keyserling, Communication Director, 303-441-4959