Governor Clarifies Mandatory Mask Order in New FAQ


Gov. Polis’ office has issued an FAQ week to clarify the state’s mandatory mask order, including rules on when masks are required in the workplace. The FAQ document says employees can remove their masks if they are alone in a room, such as an office with the door closed, but they must wear masks in any “shared, indoor space that accommodates people outside your household,” including physically distanced cubicles.

Masks are also required in common areas, such as hallways, elevators or breakrooms. If a space is used for eating, the state’s restaurant guidelines apply, meaning that people can remove masks when they’re seated at a table to eat but must put the mask back on when leaving the table for any reason.

In a letter to business leaders, the Governor’s Office called on employers to continue to have employees work remotely as much as possible.

“We would like to ask for your help to support office environments to continue to achieve higher and higher levels of social distancing and prevention, as appropriate for an individual organization,” the letter says. “Specifically, remote work is one of our best social distancing strategies, with minimal economic impact. As such, we strongly recommend that employers continue to maximize the use of telecommuting whenever possible. This helps increase our social distancing levels and also can be an important part of minimizing risk to workers who must perform their job duties in person.”

The state’s mandatory mask order went into effect July 16 and applies to anyone 11 and older in public indoor spaces, including:

  • Government buildings
  • Nonprofits
  • Transportation
  • Houses of worship
  • Private country clubs or social clubs
  • Grocery stores
  • Hair salons
  • All offices, lobbies and elevators
  • Malls and retail stores
  • Indoor businesses and common areas
  • Medical facilities and nursing homes
  • Restaurants (if not seated)
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Theaters
  • Casinos
  • Gyms, including areas around indoor pools, but not while swimming in the pool
  • If a business or entity provides services or goods both indoors and outdoors at a single location, a mask must be worn in the indoor portion of that business or entity
  • All enclosed indoor areas, whether publicly or privately owned or managed, except an individual’s residence

Like many states, Colorado has experienced an increase in COVID cases over the last few weeks. Last week, Gov. Polis issued an order that any establishment serving alcohol must make the last call for drinks by 10 p.m. That was following the order in late June that closed bars and nightclubs for a second time.

See the latest data from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment.

Visit the state’s webpage dedicated to guidance for wearing masks.