Department of Public Health and Environment


Face Masks Help Prevent Spread of COVID-19


CONTACT: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer, San Miguel County



(May 4, 2020) -- San Miguel County, CO – County Public Health Officials are reminding everyone of the importance of wearing face masks when outside the home.

Research shows that even people who have no symptoms can spread COVID-19.

“Wearing a face mask protects both you and others. By covering your mouth and nose you prevent the spread of droplets that carry COVID,” Dr. Sharon Grundy, County Medical Officer said. 

It is especially important for vulnerable individuals to wear facial coverings in public places. 

It is not necessary to keep face masks on when engaging in outdoor activities while maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet.

“If you’re going for a walk or a run and have enough space between others, you do not need to keep your mask on,” Public Health Director Grace Franklin said. “But if you’re hiking a single track and passing people with minimal clearance, wear your mask.”

Studies show on average a person touches his/her face 250 times per day. Health officials say to avoid touching your face to help prevent infection. 

Current public health orders mandate:

  • All retail employers (critical and non-critical) must provide appropriate face coverings (and gloves, if applicable) to employees. 
  • Employees without face coverings should not perform tasks that require engagement with the public or co-workers.
  • Businesses should encourage customers to use facial coverings when on business premises.
  • Services with close personal contact such as hairdressers and massage therapists must wear face coverings and gloves at all times, or, if wearing gloves is not appropriate, implement meticulous hand-washing.
  • Limited healthcare settings such as physical therapists must wear medical-grade masks and gloves at all times. Administrative personnel must wear a face covering (cloth if necessary) and may be removed when physical distancing is greater than six feet (such as working in a private office).


  • Be clean and in good repair.
  • Fit snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Be secure.
  • Include multiple layers of fabric.
  • Allow for breathing without restriction.
  • Be able to be laundered frequently (unless disposable).


  • Have anything hanging off the facial covering that would create a food safety hazard.
  • Have holes or tears.
  • Be shared with others.


  • Store your masks with personal items.
  • Wash your hands before and after putting a facial covering in place.
  • Do not touch the facial covering again until you remove it.
  • Masks should be positioned so that there is no need to adjust or otherwise touch the face frequently.
  • If your mask becomes soiled or hard to breathe through, you should remove and not wear again until laundered.
  • Remove your mask to eat and drink and if it is still in good repair, you may continue to use it.
  • Children under 2 years of age should not wear masks.

“Please, wear your face mask not only to protect yourself, but for the sake of your loved ones, your neighbors, and your community.” Franklin said. 


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To protect and preserve the health and environment by providing high-quality public health care services and environmental protection services to the people of San Miguel County.

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