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Denver prepares for mandatory face coverings starting May 6

City provides instructions, resources for compliance

DENVER – The City and County of Denver is issuing a public health order requiring people in certain public settings to wear a face covering beginning May 6, 2020 and lasting until further notice. Mayor Michael B. Hancock, through the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE), issued the public health order today to protect public health and further prevent the spread of COVID-19. The city is also offering guidelines for residents to ensure compliance.

“When we’re at the grocery store, work or any other business, my face covering protects you and your face covering protects me,” Mayor Hancock said. “The virus isn’t going away any time soon. By wearing a face covering, you're doing your part to reduce the spread of infections and keep everyone safer.”

Per the public health order, residents and employees will be required to wear face coverings while inside of, or waiting in line to enter, certain businesses, facilities or locations – such as any retail or commercial business, at a bus stop or facilities offering health care services. The Public Health Order from DDPHE, which outlines where wearing a face covering is mandatory for residents and employees, is available online.

The Order defines a face covering as a covering:

  • Made of cloth, fabric or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.
  • May be factory-made or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials.
  • 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.
  • Need to cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely.
  • Should be replaced when it becomes dirty, wet, and/or difficult to breathe through.

Residents need to take this face covering order seriously, as they did with the stay at home order. Multiple agencies will be involved in enforcement, with the goal of compliance and keeping everyone safe through education.

The use of limited medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical and N-95 rated masks, should be reserved for health care workers and first-responders. Fabric or other porous face-coverings, including both commercially produced, as well as homemade ones, are suitable for all community residents to comply with the mandatory order.

  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers guidelines on suitable homemade face-coverings at
  • Formed in recent weeks in response to the health crisis, the Colorado Sewing Coalition is using sewing machines on loan from the Denver Public Library. They are providing face coverings for $5, which were made by both workers who have lost their income because of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as volunteers. Kits are also available from the Coalition at Highlands United Methodist Church, 3131 Osceola, and orders can be placed at
  • Homemade face coverings can be made using only a scissors and cloth. Instructions on how to quickly covert a cotton T-shirt into a face covering are available online, including the guide at