DENVER (CBS4) – Starting Wednesday, everyone above age 3 in Denver is required to wear a face mask outside their home when they cannot maintain a safe distance from people due to the coronavirus pandemic. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock spoke on Tuesday from the Denver City and County Building about the order.

A traveler at Denver International Airport wears a Denver Broncos face mask (credit: CBS)

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“A face covering doesn’t have to be a surgical or N95 mask. It can be a bandana, a modified T-shirt, some of your ski gear or clothing covering that you can make at home,” Hancock said. “As long as it covers your nose and mouth, it will work.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock at Tuesday’s news conference (credit: CBS)

People who have medical conditions that would prevent them from being able to wear a face covering are exempt from the order.

Face masks will be required in the city in all of the following situations, Hancock said:

– When inside of or our waiting in line to enter certain businesses or locations (including any retail or commercial business, their common areas and enclosed spaces like an elevator)
– When inside any government building where essential public functions are taking place
– When at a bus stop, on the bus or in a rideshare or car for hire
– When in facilities offering health care services

The order includes all passengers, employees and visitors at Denver International Airport.

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Hancock said people aren’t required to wear a mask when they’re outside exercising, but he still “strongly recommends” it.

“To be clear, you don’t need to wear a face covering if you’re out for a walk. Exercising outdoors, or driving in your car,” he said, although it’s still very important to maintain social distancing guidlines in those situations.

The order defines a face covering as a covering:

  • Made of cloth, fabric or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.
  • May be factory-made or may be handmade and improvised from ordinary household materials.
  • Should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.
  • Need to cover the nose and mouth at all times and should remain in place until taken off safely.
  • Should be replaced when it becomes dirty, wet, and/or difficult to breathe through.

Hancock said the city’s website — — will be providing information for people who want to make their own face masks and don’t know how to.

Several local governments in Colorado now require certain people to wear masks.

(credit: CBS)

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According to the website, “Research shows that people who have no symptoms can spread COVID-19. Wearing a non-medical face mask helps minimize the spread of the virus. Everyone should wear a mask when out in public. Employees should wear a mask when working. If possible, masks should be provided to employees.”