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Fort Collins modifies face covering rule

Released on Wednesday, May 6, 2020
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The Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday modified the City’s mandatory face covering requirement and set the expiration date for the order as May 30 to align with Larimer County.

The order, which has been in effect since Monday, May 4, could still be extended past May 30. It applies to most buildings open to the public.

In addition to setting an expiration date, City Council also made three other modifications:

  • People violating the face covering order could receive a civil infraction rather than a misdemeanor criminal charge.
  • Those responsible for a business, like an owner or manager, can require someone who refuses to wear a face covering to leave the premises, but they will not face penalties under the City order for allowing someone to remain without a face covering.
  • Signs informing the public of the face covering requirement are still mandatory and must be available in English and Signs are available for businesses to download and use at www.fcgov.com/coronavirus and www.forfortcollins.com.

All other sections of the original face covering order remain in effect. In cases where a county, state, or federal face covering order is in place, the stricter version applies.

The order is meant to help protect employees, assist healthcare workers and emergency personnel in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, and slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Face coverings can help reduce the spread of coronavirus to others in conjunction with following state and county Safer-At-Home guidelines, observing physical distance rules, and washing hands frequently and thoroughly.

As of May 5, face coverings are required in the following places:

  • Any enclosed area, including retail and commercial businesses or on-site service providers, to which the public is invited or in which workers, including volunteers, from more than one household are present,
  • Any City of Fort Collins building or indoor City facility;
  • Any public transportation, including City Transfort buses and bus shelters; or
  • Any other public indoor place where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing (six or more feet separation) from others not of their own household.
  • Larimer County’s face covering order also requires those standing in line outside a business to wear a face covering.

Exemptions to the order include:

  • Persons under 2 years old (although the City’s order exempts those under 10, Larimer County’s order supersedes the City’s order);
  • Children within a childcare facility;
  • Persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition documented by a medical professional;
  • Persons working in an office or other workspace who do not have any face-to-face interactions with or share workspace with other persons;
  • If the person is undergoing a medical or dental procedure that requires access to the person’s mouth or nose;
  • Property owned or operated by the federal, state or county governments; and
  • Persons who are customers of banks, financial institutions, and pawn shops. However, employees of these places must still wear face coverings.

Face coverings that meet the City’s requirements must cover the nose and mouth and remain affixed without the use of hands. Examples include bandanas, medical masks, cloth masks, and gaiters. The public is discouraged from acquiring healthcare-grade or industrial-grade masks that would be used by healthcare workers.

Businesses must also make reasonable efforts to obtain and provide face coverings for employees.

Violations of the face covering policy may be reported online at www.fcgov.com/accessfortcollins or by calling 970-416-2200. Do not call 911 to report a violation.

City Manager Darin Atteberry signed an emergency order authorizing the face covering requirement on May 1. A copy of the order revised by City Council on Tuesday, May 5, is included with this press release. A copy of Larimer County’s order is also attached.

For more information about the City’s response to COVID-19, visit fcgov.com/coronavirus.

Business resources related to COVID-19 can be found at www.forfortcollins.com.

Community outreach and resources related to COVID-19 can be found at ourcity.fcgov.com/forfoco.