Denver’s mandatory order is for face coverings – a scarf, t-shirt, bandana, etc. Medical-grade masks are not required and should be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders and other emergency and essential workers.
Denver’s Order defines “face covering” as a cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. A face covering may be factory-made or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials. Manufactured supplies are limited, so suitable face coverings may be homemade and can be made with or without sewing.
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 its shape.
Face coverings need to cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely. If a worker’s face covering moves during work, it needs to be replaced with one that does not need to be frequently adjusted to reduce touching of the face. A face covering should be replaced when it becomes dirty, wet, and/or difficult to breathe through.