The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a new public health order ordering workers in critical businesses and critical government functions to wear non-medical masks and gloves while at work to protect the health and welfare of the public.

 Public Health Order 20 26 requires that workers in these businesses who have close contact (within 6 feet) with other employees or the public wear cloth masks while working.

It also orders these workers to wear gloves if they are in close contact with customers. The public health order encourages employers to provide masks and gloves for their employees.

"Chaffee County Public Health is working on a plan to secure additional mask/face cloth coverings so that everyone in our community, including current businesses that have been allowed to open, is wearing them in public," said Andrea Carlstrom, director of Chaffee County Public and Environmental Health. "We appreciate everyone doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. One of the main reasons why it is so important to wear a mask is to protect our community’s most vulnerable."

The critical businesses impacted by this public health order include banks, child care facilities, pharmacies, and grocery stores. They are defined in Public Health Order 20 24 and listed on the COVID-19 website at covid19.colorado.gov/stay-home-except-essential-needs.

The main reason to wear a non-medical mask is to protect others. Data show that some people may spread COVID-19 when they do not have symptoms. People may spread the disease when speaking, coughing or sneezing -- especially in situations where a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained.

Colorado is asking everyone to wear a non-medical cloth face covering while out in public. You can make or buy a covering that will cover your mouth and nose and use it whenever you are outside your house and yard.

This public health order will remain in place until May 17 unless it’s extended, amended, or rescinded.

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

From our sister paper The Chaffee County Times at www.chaffeecountytimes.com

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