Pitkin County Board of Health Endorses Mask Advisory

Apr 14, 2020

The Pitkin County Board of Health Monday endorsed an advisory urging the public to wear non-medical cloth masks in public places where social distancing is not possible. KDNK’s Lucas Turner has more.

Screenshot from a CDC video posted on April 3rd, 2020 where Surgeon General Jerome Adams shares ways to create your own face covering from a T Shirt and Rubber bands.
Credit CDC

Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenneman explains the difference between an advisory and a public health order.

"If it's a mask advisory that's really a strong recommendation from the Board of Health to say we really strongly advise you to wear this out in public, but there wouldn't be a legal component to this."

The advisory is not a mandatory order, if it was, says Koennoman, it would have been issued as part of the public health order.

Everyone who spoke during Monday’s meeting with the Board of Health endorsed the advisory, including Dr. Kimberly Levin. She says it’s important to know what kind of mask is appropriate to use and what kind should be saved for healthcare workers.


"A medical mask or a surgical mask is not appropriate in the community, they really need to be reserved for hospital use. The appropriate masks in the community will be homemade masks. The Surgeon General has a way to make one from a bandana and two rubber bands. There's so many easy ways to make a mask, and everyone should have one for sure."


Dr. Levin also suggested adding language to the advisory that instructs people to wash their mask after each use. 


The board also added language reflecting guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that children under the age of 2 should not wear face coverings. The board ended the meeting by endorsing the mask advisory and will meet again Thursday.

The Town of Carbondale is also expected to discuss masks, but Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson said Sunday during a town hall Saturday that a mandatory face-covering order was unlikely.