Chaffee County Public Health director and Incident Command for COVID-19 Andrea Carlstrom announced Friday the state and federal guidelines for COVID 19 precautions now include recommendations for the general public to wear a non-medical cloth face coverings when leaving the home for essential business.

Carlstrom said, “We will be spending time familiarizing ourselves with it so that we can plan and prepare as a county.

President Trump made the announcement of the Center for Disease Control’s revised mask recommendation Friday.

Following the federal announcement, Gov. Jared Polis announced the Colorado Mask Campaign.

“We want every Coloradan to have a non-medical mask (e.g., scarf, bandana) by April 15. Everyone should wear a mask when outside of their home for necessary activities,” a press release from Polis’ office stated.

“There is new evidence that people can spread the virus while being asymptomatic. Although staying at home is still the best way to prevent the spread, when you need to leave your house for necessities or if you work in a critical, non-medical field, wearing a bandana or non-medical mask made of cloth on your face can help prevent the spread to others if you have the virus. Because of the lack of medical-grade masks that are so crucial to protecting health care providers on the front lines, it is paramount that these types of masks not be sought after or used by the general public’ the release stated.

Polis is encouraging Coloradans to wear a cloth face covering but urges people not to go out and buy surgical masks as that critical personal protective equipment is needed for health care workers and first responders.

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