Gov. Jared Polis announced a statewide mask requirement for public indoor spaces during a Thursday news conference.
Across the state, Coloradans and tourists will be required to wear masks in public under the new statewide mask mandate, which is effective at midnight on July 17. Colorado will join around 20 other states requiring people to wear masks in some capacity.
During the press conference, Polis said, “We’re really interconnected and it’s important to approach this virus in an interconnected way. We are united using data and science.”
Here are key points of the new state mask mandate.
- Effective midnight July 17, Coloradans and visitors are legally required to wear masks in public places.
- Public indoor spaces include businesses and stores as well as public transportation.
- People with medical conditions or a disability that prevents them from wearing a mask are exempt from this order.
- Other exemptions apply to people exercising alone, people seated in a restaurant, people being served in a way that a mask would interfere, public safety personnel, religious officiants, people identifying themselves and delivering speeches for broadcast.
- The state issued the order in response to data showing a spike in new COVID-19 cases. Across the state the average number of new coronavirus cases within a three-day period rose from 128 to 372 in the past month. If the trend continues, Polis said ICU capacity would be exceeded in September.
- People who do not follow the order are subject to criminal charges, which could include trespassing.
- Mandate applicable to people ages 10 years and older.
- No new local variances will be issued across the state for the next two weeks.
- Counties seeing a spike in cases could risk losing existing variances if cases are not suppressed.
- The order does not replace current local policies encouraging the public to wear masks. The goal is for the state’s message to compliment those for the public safety across the state.
This story will be updated with more details about the new mask mandate.