Pursuant to the authority vested in the Governor of the State of Colorado and, in particular, pursuant to Article IV, Section 2 of the Colorado Constitution and the relevant portions of the Colorado Disaster Emergency Act, C.R.S. § 24-33.5-701 et seq., I, Jared Polis, Governor of the State of Colorado, hereby issue this Executive Order ordering workers in critical businesses and critical government functions to wear non-medical cloth face coverings while at work.
I. Background and Purpose On March 5, 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) public health laboratory confirmed the first presumptive positive COVID-19 test result in Colorado. Since then, the number of confirmed cases has continued to climb, and we have evidence of widespread community spread throughout the State. I verbally declared a disaster emergency on March 10, 2020, and on March 11, 2020, I issued the corresponding Executive Order D 2020 003, as amended by Executive Orders D 2020 018 and D 2020 032. On March 25, 2020, I requested that the President of the United States declare a Major Disaster for the State of Colorado, pursuant to the Stafford Act. The President approved that request on March 28, 2020.
My administration, along with other State, local, and federal authorities, has undertaken a wide array of actions to respond to and mitigate the effects of the pandemic, prevent further spread, preserve our health care resources, and provide needed flexibility to address the collateral consequences of the pandemic.
While we have seen some indications that our efforts to “flatten the curve” are working, transmission of the virus at critical businesses threatens Colorado’s progress, and additional measures are needed to facilitate re-opening of the economy. We must continue to take steps to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect those most vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19.
I issue this Executive Order to protect Colorado workers and communities by requiring workers in critical businesses and critical government functions to wear a non-medical mask covering their nose and mouth while at work and while serving the public.
A. I direct the Executive Director of CDPHE to issue a public health order requiring that workers in Critical Businesses and Critical Government Functions, as such terms are defined in PHO 20-24, as amended, where workers interact in close proximity with other employees or with the public to:
1. Wear medical or non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health; and
2. To the extent possible, wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods if gloves are provided to workers by their employer.
B. Nothing in this Executive Order should be construed to prevent workers in Critical Businesses and Critical Government Functions from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other, more protective face covering to cover the nose and mouth if that type of mask or more protective face covering is required because of the nature of the work performed.
III. Duration This Executive Order shall expire thirty (30) days from April 17, 2020, unless extended further by Executive Order.
GIVEN under my hand and the Executive Seal of the State of Colorado, this seventeenth day of April, 2020