El Paso County, Colo.-- As a coordinated response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, El Paso County Public Health, El Paso County, and the City of Colorado Springs will provide updates from a variety of local agencies responding to this health emergency. Media are encouraged to share the below information with the public and media interviews are available. This communication will go out to the media between noon and 1 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Guidance for use of cloth face masks:
Colorado Governor Jared Polis Friday encouraged Coloradoans to begin wearing non-medical face masks in public places to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to study the spread and effects of COVID-19 across the U.S. and it is now known that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms and that people can even transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
Although staying at home is still the best way to prevent the spread, when someone needs to leave your house for necessities or if they work in a critical, non-medical field, wearing a bandana or non-medical cloth mask on their face can help prevent the spread to others if they have the virus.
When to use:
- In light of new evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- It is critical to still maintain the six feet of physical distance while wearing a mask to slow the spread of the virus.
- Bring a cloth face covering with you whenever you leave the house in case you encounter a place where physical distancing is difficult to maintain (e.g. grocery stores, pharmacies, crowded outdoor areas)
- It is acceptable to forego wearing a mask while walking on a trail or riding a bike if one can maintain physical distance from others.
Make sure the mask:
- Fits snugly, but comfortably against the side of the face
- Is secured with ties or ear loops and include multiple layers of woven fabric
- Allows for unrestricted breathing
- Is made at home from common materials such as an old T-shirt, scarf, bandana or hand towel.
The recommended cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance
When using a mask:
- Wash your hands before putting on a face mask
- Do not touch eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing the mask
- When done, carefully remove mask to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Wash hands immediately after removing
- Routinely wash in a washing machine, depending on the frequency of use
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
- Young children under age 2
- Anyone who has trouble breathing
- Otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.
Call for cloth face masks for public safety professionals-donations welcome Tuesdays/Thursdays
City and county public safety professionals are looking for fabric masks to comply with the Governor's recent recommendation that people wear fabric face coverings when out in public. Because first responders are out serving the public every day, there is a need for thousands of masks for our public servants. Anyone who has the skill set and the desire to help our community, is encouraged to help make and donate cloth masks.
The Colorado Mask Project offers guidance and mask patterns.
Cloth mask donations will be gladly accepted:
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 – 4 p.m.
Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management
3755 Mark Dabling, Colorado Springs, 80907
COVID-19 Call Center open seven-days-a-week
El Paso and Teller County residents can connect with information and resources for COVID-19 by calling (719) 575-8888. The call center is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
Reliable Information Sources
Please continue to remind your viewers and readers to always rely on credible and official news sources and agencies.
Current information on the number of COVID-19 cases in El Paso County
El Paso County Health: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
City of Colorado Springs: Coloradosprings.gov/covid19
State of Colorado: https://covid19.colorado.gov/