What You Need to Know About Denver’s Mandatory Mask Order

[Update: May 5 at 4:07 p.m.: Today in a press conference, Denver’s city attorney Kristin Bronson explained that the city expects businesses to enact a good faith effort to implement the order by posting signs, training staff about the order and making sure the vast majority of customers are wearing masks. Only those not making a good faith effort are more likely to face citations. “We certainly understand we’re not going to get 100% of compliance 100% of the time,” she said.] 

Late on Friday afternoon, Mayor Michael Hancock issued a new order requiring all Denver residents to wear face coverings starting Wednesday, May 6 at 12 a.m. until further notice. This comes after Hancock alluded to this upcoming decision in a Zoom call on Thursday.

“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.”

The order, outlined here, explains when and how Denverites must wear a “face covering” — which is also defined in the order. Below is a breakdown of what you need to know.

READ: 23 Denver Designers and Artists Selling Cloth Masks Right Now

READ: What You Need to Know About the Lifting of Colorado’s Stay-at-Home Order

What Defines a Face Covering?

  • A face covering (also referred to as a mask in this article) must be made of multiple layers of “cloth, fabric or other soft or permeable material, without holes.”
    • The CDC recommends a tightly woven cotton, like a t-shirt or cotton sheets.
  • It can be made professionally or handmade and can also be improvised from household materials (i.e. a bandana folded multiple times would work).
  • The mask should cover your nose and chin
  • You should be able to breathe in it and it should fit comfortably, especially so you do not have to adjust it and risk touching your face.
  • Your mask should be washable
  • You should wash your mask frequently, especially after it becomes wet (presumably from respiration) or is dirty.
  • Replace your mask if it becomes damaged, misshapen from washing or hard to breathe through.
  • According to this order masks with a one-way valve do not count as, “valves of that type permit droplet release from the mask, putting others nearby at risk.”

When Do I Need to Wear a Mask?

  • When you are in line or inside of a retail or commercial business
    • i.e. the grocery or liquor store, while grabbing food or drink to-go, shopping in general, getting your haircut, going to the dog groomers etc.
  • While going to the doctor or receiving or waiting for any other healthcare services for yourself, someone else or a pet.
    • i.e. a check-up, going to the pharmacy, seeing a therapist, going to the blood bank, going to the vet etc.
  • While waiting for or inside of transportation such as buses, the light rail, taxi, private car service, or a ride-sharing vehicle.
    • i.e. any transportation that has a hired driver.
  • While at work if you work in retail, commercial, or a business that provides a “critical government function.”

When am I Not Required to Wear a Mask?

  • While you are in your own home
  • While you are in your own car or a car driven by someone in your family or household
  • While in a closed office, not in contact with other people
  • While outdoors, not waiting in line or going into any of the places listed above.
    • Although it is strongly suggested to wear masks while outdoors in places such as public parks or any place in which you come in close contact with people.
  • When with a healthcare provider or healthcare worker or employee and they say you are able to take a mask off.
  • If wearing a mask inhibits your health. But if your job requires it, you must provide documents to your employer.
  • Additionally, children under the age of three do not need to wear a mask — but all children three and older must wear one in the settings listed above. 

What will happen if I don’t wear a mask when I am supposed to?

  • You run the risk of getting a fine up to $999 per violation
  • Additionally, the Order explained that they may pursue more actions including “one or more civil, criminal, and administrative actions, fees, fines, sentences, penalties, judgments, and remedies and may do so simultaneously or in succession.”

Go here for more information

  1. This is unfair. I’ve been jail 3 times. *cry gets angry* that’s one things I hate denver

  2. Should be interesting to see how the people of DENVER respond. This is unconstitutional.

    1. It actually IS NOT unconstitutional in any way.

      The constitution, if you’ve ever actually looked at it, is written so the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

      Your individual right to act thoughtlessly does not supersede the rights of the masses to be safe.

      AKA – Quite crying about it!!!

      1. the masks probably do the wearer more harm than protect the minority of people who would actually get really sick from COV-2. waste of time and energy.

        1. As one of “the minority”, a 70-year-old Type I diabetic (of 60+ years) who “would actually get really sick”, perhaps fatally so, I applaud your appalling ignorance.

      2. Pretty sure you haven’t read the constitution after reading this one. Might help if you learn how to read cursive.

    2. Totally ridiculous order, not based on science nor common sense. This will lead to self infection of disease and make us less healthy. The pendulum continues to swing too far to levels of absurdity

  3. why in a world full of educated people would you make people wear a mask when we all know that it doesn’t do a lot of good. Especially the way people are wearing masks. I refused to wear a mask. You’re taking my common rights away from me. The governor can kiss my butt and so can all the rest of the crappy electoral officials that we have in office. Nobody’s handling the situation like a scientist would. The masks do no good. You will not find a mask on my face and I will not contribute to the economy and tell you guys remove this mandatory bulshit wear a mask. Mask do not hardly do anything to deter people from coming in contact with viruses and bacteria. We need to come into contact with viruses and bacteria to form a herd immunity. Why is everybody being so stupid? I refuse your mask and I will not wear your stupid mask. I will allow my body to create the antibodies it needs to deal with this natural world. Next you’re going to force us to get a vaccine and I promise you you will have a war on your hands. Funny how there’s an ad to buy a mask right underneath this. You guys are all greedy selfish people. You are tipping the economy and basic structures to influence your pockets. That is why there was an entire shut down. It is about greed. It’s not about the safety of us. The only reason you care about us is so that we keep working as your ants and your slaves to keep filling your pockets. All of our government officials are not out to protect us. They’re out to line their own pockets. You can shove your mask right up your political asshole.

    1. What you said is so misinformed & blatantly wrong it seems like you put extreme effort into sounding that ignorant. The problem is people like you. Thanks for being thoughtless and helping kill other Coloradans. Simply because your gut thinks this is some conspiracy. No one cares about you enough for you to be part of any conspiracy. Glad you think so highly of yourself. Sheesh.

      Maybe just shut your mouth, stop spreading lies, & actually help your community for once in your life.

          1. Or, as I prefer to say it, “your liberties end where mine begin, and you do not have the right to force me to breathe your germs.”

      1. You don’t see how you are being selfish??? These orders and the policies made set precedent that will affect ours and future generations to come with restricted rights from knee jerk reactions. Not to mention the disruption to families, the life experiences taken away from our kids, stress and financial hardship that continues to mount. How many COVID related sicknesses and deaths happened to those that were already suffering from some other disease? Spend some time questioning the information you are being fed and think for yourself for once.

        1. The government has been after our rights for years, this is another means to constitute martial law. Get with the program bud.

      2. I dont wear a mask and haven’t killed anyone. Read the CDC website dipshit. 98% of the air doesn’t even go through the mask, leaving you a 2% chance of not contracting it. Quit acting like a sheeple and do some research. Maybe read a book on laws and see how the corporation “government,” that you so blindly follow, actually works.

      3. The only mask I need, (to Jesse Wind) is a condom, so I l can rearrange your mom’s guts. She deserves some fun sex to relieve her stress, from dealing with your dumbass, your entire life. That’s my contribution to our community.

    2. You talk about science but clearly don’t understand it. You barely put a coherent thought together in that last post.

      You also clearly don’t understand the virus, how antibodies work, or how the economy works. People like you should be kicked out of Colorado. We don’t need you dragging the rest of us down.

      It’s cute of you to politicize the safety of others. This has nothing to do with politics & the fact that you think it does shoes how scarily misinformed you are.

      I bet your an old, middle class, cis, Caucasian, who has never actually had to go his community before.

      I’m sorry your white privilege is being infringed on. (That’s sarcasm)

      Also….. THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF your body creates antibodies for this virus that deter a second infection. That’s you remembering ONE WORD you learned in science & trying to apply it to a problem that’s out of your depth.

      When you don’t understand a problem, maybe just be quiet, & let the REAL scientists take care of the problem.

      If only being a good person where easy….. maybe lazy people like you would even try.

      1. You need to calm down. You are not a scientist so stop lecturing people about masks and antibodies. The only way a mask will work is if it fits snugly and covers your nose and mouth. Otherwise, it is useless. If you continue to touch it then it is contaminated. I see many people lifting the mask over their nose, under their nose, when they talk. Totally useless. Everyone running around with a false sense of protection. Big mistake. Also, stop listening to fake news. Our immune system is very complicated and able to produce antibodies. Which it does, continually, when an antigen invades our system. Get off your high horse. It’s not working. If you want to run around all afraid with your little mask on and you think you are being protected, go ahead. The best protection is to WASH YOUR HANDS. And don’t forget to wash your mask frequently and do not put it down on any surface or it will be useless.Good luck!

    3. Why is Jack Smith so laid back and undecided about wearing masks? He is so wishy-washy. I hope he takes a strong position.

  4. Anyone complaining about masks being ineffective or unconstitutional is so ignorant someone needs to take their phones away.

    You people sicken me. You’re all lazy, worthless citizens of this state. The one time anyone ever asks you to help your privileged butts just cry about it.

    Thanks for showing your true colors during a crisis. Your friends and neighbors won’t forget that you can never be trusted.

  5. But… muh rights… turk ur jerbs!!! they derk ur derbs! Wear a damn mask, you crybabies! It can’t hurt! Grow up, and act like an adult. Be part of the solution, don’t add to the problem!

    1. Derk er Der, my mask inhibits breathing because I refuse to exercise. My government check is the biggest paycheck I’ve gotten in months and I spent it all on Dr. Pepper and Turkish Royals. I also argue in public places with my dump-truck of a wife.

    2. Those masks are about as effective as seatbelts made of party streamers.

  6. This sounds like a reasonable precaution and an easy way for individuals to Demonstrate concern and care for others around them.

    This mandate is NOT for those of us who are educated. We are already taking these measures to participate in the solution. It’s weird and uncomfortable to wear a mask. It weird and uncomfortable to be told what to do. It is weird and uncomfortable to make higher a priority the health of a stranger.
    That is duty. It’s not always easy.
    No, this mandate is not for the educated. This mandate is for those who have to be told again and again. This mandate is for those who refuse to learn, grow and help. Those people are a danger to others.

  7. Hey losers, just wear a mask. Your whining is being heard and ignored. I’m sure the people who argue about wearing a mask already wear a C-Pap machine to sleep, what’s the difference?

    Please reply to this message with a paragraph of uneducated babbling, I love it.

    1. If the stupid masks are so effective & you have one on then you shouldnt worry about others not wearing one. Same with vaccines, if they are so effective then you should be immune regerdless weather I have been poisoned, I mean vaccinated or not.

  8. Wow people are so selfish and plain lazy… suck it up and comply already it doesn’t hurt you to wear a mask… medical teams are saving lives in full protective wear I think grown as adults are able to handle this small task for the better good . Life isn’t only about being about yourself this time

  9. Not going to do it. Can’t make me do it. Don’t care what anyone else thinks or has to say about it.

  10. More moronic and harmful virtue signaling. Crossing your fingers slows the spreading of the virus about as well. Amazing that people are so quick to obey “rules” that circumvent legislative procedure, have no accountability, and are pretty much just pulled out of the butt by the guy who makes them. No way. No thanks.

  11. Those “Those who give up liberty for security deserve neither.” Those silly stupid masks are about as effective as using a condom with the tip cut off.

  12. Seems like a mild inconvenience for the greater good. I hardly see anyone’s “freedom” limited by a public health measure to wear a mask for a relatively short period of time, only when around other people. I saw this analogy that makes some sense of why we wear masks even if they don’t “protect” us.

    If we all run around naked and someone pees on you, you get wet right away.

    If you are wearing pants and someone pees on your, you get a little wet, but not as much and you are better protected

    If we all wear pants and someone pees, the pee stays in their pants unless you bump into them.

    Just another way to think about it…..

  13. The lack of scientific knowledge among the public is staggering. The media can get you sheep to do anything they want. The poster above me mentioned that your underwear protects your pee from going everywhere. SMH. That’s a liquid. We are talking about an aerosolized pathogen. That argument doesn’t hold water. No pun intended.

    Let me explain. Have you ever smelt a raunchy, ungodly fart from someone wearing underwear and pants? 2 layers of protection, yet you can smell their ass with full on intensity, and at a distance. Funny as that sounds. Those shit particles are larger than a virus. So your mask is more of a placebo. It makes you feel like you are safe, but in all actuality you are making yourself more sick.

    Allow me to explain this. Yes some viruses and bacteria get trapped in the mask, then you rebreathe them back in putting them in the place where they do the most damage. Your nose, throat, and lungs. It’s the same concept as the farter ripping farts through their underwear and pants. Their underwear will of course have shit stains in them, but plenty of shit particles made it through the porous material. Enough to gas out an entire elevator mind you! However, your ass can deal with shit particles, and is made to deal with large amounts of shit. Your lungs are not meant to be virus and bacteria havens.

    You have an immune system, and you have common sense. I find it odd the same government that puts sugar in all of your food, the same government that engages in police brutality, the same government that has no qualms about sending people to die in a war over oil, all of a sudden gives a shit about your health. Hahaha. Naive little sheep you all are. Go be good little lemmings and go collectively walk off a cliff. Remember it’s for your safety, and for the planet. Hahaha.

  14. The idiot who mentioned “white privilege” as if that nonsense has any relevance to this situation is a complete baffoon. Not to mention she was making an assumption of skin color which is the essence of racism. Leave it to the democrats to introduce skin color to the equation.

  15. Amusing this is what a measly virus does, this same virus was known about last year yet here we are. Maybe the healthcare field needs to step aside they aren’t here to find a cure for what ails you they just want to fix your symptoms because the cure puts them out of a job. Science is the only way forward and the only salvation that can make a cure but the research is banned in our country. Funny how you want ppl to wear a mask yet you eyeballs have a mucus membrane on them that is just as capable of absorbing the virus when you come in contact with it, what good is the mask when you will still get sick. Every hundred years we have some sort of pandemic, 1820 was Spanish flu, 1920 was influenza, now here in 2020 we have covid19.

  16. So people like me, with COPD and Asthma with a pulse ox of 86 on a good day are supposed to just suck it and never go anywhere ever again? Kiss my grits!

  17. Masks cause kidney failure as published today by medical authorities. You wusses do not stand up for your rights! I find Denver people are really stupid.

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