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'Get Creative': Polis Urges Residents To Wear Cloth Masks While Away From Home

Gov. Jared Polis sports a Colorado-themed bandana in this selfie taken on April 3.
Office of the Governor via Facebook
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Gov. Jared Polis sports a Colorado-themed bandana in this selfie taken on April 3.

Gov. Jared Polis is urging all residents to wear cloth masks or scarves if they need to leave their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Polis says wearing the masks at grocery stores and on walks will slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow Colorado to lift its stay-at-home order sooner.

Wearing a Colorado-themed mask at a press conference Friday afternoon, Polis encouraged residents to be creative and make them at home.

"Get out those old t-shirts," Polis said. "You know. '1998 Guacamole Champion.' It shrunk. You never thought you'd use it again. Get it out of the bottom of your drawer and be creative about making it into a mask. Cover your mouth. Cover your nose and make sure you can breathe."

Polis stressed that residents do not need the medical masks first responders use to treat COVID-19 patients.

His recommendation comes after the CDC reported as many as a quarter of the people who have COVID-19 do not show any symptoms.

The call to wear masks also came moments after Polis said more than 100 people have been killed by COVID-19 in Colorado.

Polis says the state is partnering with the private sector to deliver thousands of cloth masks to residents who cannot make them.

Residents can find resources at coloradomaskproject.com.

Also on Friday, Polis announced more measures to help residents who have been affected financially by the virus.

He said businesses can have a 30-day extension on paying their state sales tax bills. He also announced property owners can delay paying this month's property taxes until May 1 without penalty.

Copyright 2020 KUNC

Scott Franz is a government watchdog reporter and photographer from Steamboat Springs. He spent the last seven years covering politics and government for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, a daily newspaper in northwest Colorado. His reporting in Steamboat stopped a police station from being built in a city park, saved a historic barn from being destroyed and helped a small town pastor quickly find a kidney donor. His favorite workday in Steamboat was Tuesday, when he could spend many of his mornings skiing untracked powder and his evenings covering city council meetings. Scott received his journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an outdoorsman who spends at least 20 nights a year in a tent. He spoke his first word, 'outside', as a toddler in Edmonds, Washington. Scott visits the Great Sand Dunes, his favorite Colorado backpacking destination, twice a year. Scott's reporting is part of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.
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