Colorado – Distribution of 1.7 Million Masks in First Week

Polis Administration’s Free Medical Grade Mask Program Distributes 1.7 Million Masks in First Week

DENVER  CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) are excited to announce that as of today, they have delivered more than 1.7 million free KN95 and surgical grade masks to 386 distribution points across the state.  Due to inclement weather in parts of the state today, the state encourages Coloradans to call ahead to a distribution site in their area or check their website or social media for weather impacts.

This is part of an ongoing effort by the state to provide high quality personal protective equipment to Coloradans who might be especially at risk during the pandemic and future public health emergencies.  With the ongoing surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant, the state recommends people upgrade from cloth masks to medical-grade masks like KN95 or surgical masks.  Information and distribution sites can be found at covid19.colorado.gov/freemasks.

“It is so encouraging to see Coloradans personally stepping up to protect themselves with free medical grade masks.  What we’ve consistently seen throughout this pandemic is individual Coloradans and families using fact based information to protect themselves and their families including getting vaccinated and testing when ill,” said Gov. Polis.

“Mesa County Libraries has been re-opened for a year and our staff have creatively found ways to serve the community during a pandemic.  In addition to people coming to the library for masks, we plan to distribute masks to our home bound library patrons who can’t come to the library for mask distribution and at other opportunities which are starting to pop up like our community’s Mutual Aid distribution days,” said Michelle Boisvenue-Fox, Director of Mesa County Libraries.  “At any of our library locations throughout our county, expect to attend a library program and get your free masks before leaving.  We also just recently heard that Colorado Mesa University will be starting classes on Monday in masks for the first two weeks of classes, so we are seeing students at the library getting masks.”

“Denver Parks & Recreation, along with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, is excited to be a mask distribution point for Denver residents,” said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks & Recreation.  “With 29 Rec Center locations accessible throughout the city, residents can easily receive the KN95 and surgical masks, which will help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

“Douglas County Libraries is grateful to be a part of supporting our communities through this program.  I was fortunate enough to be at our Lone Tree location today when the staff began distributing the masks,” said Amber DeBerry, Director of Community Engagement at Douglas County Libraries, on Friday.  “The community members were grateful to receive the masks with many of them thanking staff numerous times.  It was lovely to watch our staff welcome them in and experience such warm exchanges.”

“We had such a great time giving away the masks.  I heard so many stories from staff about first-time library visitors today!”  said Midori Clark, Director of Library and Cultural Services for the City of Aurora, on Friday.  “This was a wonderful opportunity to not only serve the public in a way they clearly want to be served, but also get new folks through our library doors.”

“Our focus is on keeping all Coloradans safe.  This free distribution of high quality KN95 and surgical-grade masks, along with our free testing programs and vaccine outreach all work in concert to ensure that every Coloradan has access to necessary COVID-19-related supplies and services regardless of their financial situation or background,” said Kevin Klein, Director of the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Vaccination and mask wearing are the two most important tools Coloradans can use to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now that all Coloradans age 5 and older have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, masks are only required in certain places for people who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines.  However, Coloradans, who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, may choose to protect themselves by wearing masks in public indoor places.

Local communities and businesses may have additional mask restrictions.  CDPHE encourages all Coloradans to keep masks with them in public and wear them if asked.

Everyone age 2 and older must still wear masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.  This is required by federal law for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.