BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — Boulder County has extended its public health order requiring face coverings in public indefinitely. Every person over 12 years old must wear a face covering whenever in public anywhere in Boulder County that social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained.
“While the Order does not require children under age 12 to wear a mask, it is expected that parents will encourage and supervise their use for their children older than three years old,” county officials stated.
“We know it’s unpleasant to wear a face covering. None of us are excited to wear them. But it’s a small inconvenience that can save lives and our economy,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health executive director. “Wearing face coverings in public is not a political statement; it’s an important tool in our toolbox to help slow the spread of this disease. If we can slow the spread, we’ll be able to enter the Protect Your Neighbor phase which will allow us to further reopen our economy.”
Boulder County Public Health asks residents to:
- Set an example by wearing a face covering in public if you cannot maintain social distance. This helps normalize or “norm” the behavior which makes it more acceptable for others to adopt.
- Move away from others who are not wearing face coverings if they come closer than six feet to you. This sends a message that you care about their health and safety.
- Always stay at least six feet from others you don’t live with or haven’t agreed to have close contact with. This is as important as wearing a face covering.
- Focus on your sphere of influence rather than strangers. Request that the people you see often, such as co-workers, take precautions.
- Consider the risk and benefit of activities you enjoy and choose activities that are less likely to spread disease. In general, coronavirus spreads best within a closed area, in close proximity for more than 10 minutes. While not entirely risk-free, briefly passing someone outdoors is less likely to spread the virus.
“We know that some people are choosing not to wear face coverings despite being required by law. This is disappointing and leaves it up to the rest of us to be responsible for ourselves, our loved ones, those who could die from the disease, and the survival of our economy,” said Zayach. “Let’s show the state and country that the people of Boulder County care about their community.”
The order includes exceptions, including people working alone in an office, anyone whose health would be negatively impacted by wearing a face covering (including mental health impacts), children aged 12 years and younger, and first responders under certain circumstances.
Children younger than three years should not wear a face covering due to their risk of suffocation, officials warned.