Larimer County Public Health Amends Face Covering Order
Special to the Surveyor
Larimer County Public Health has amended the public health order requiring face coverings for employees and customers to enter businesses in Larimer County.
Larimer County continues to work with local businesses to develop creative mechanisms to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus as part of the overall goal of keeping County businesses and residents safe and as operational as possible.
Businesses will have to continue to require face coverings for customers and employees, or businesses can decide to complete the additional social distancing checklist and put stricter requirements in place. If businesses cannot meet all of the additional requirements they must continue to require face coverings. The option to implement alternative prevention measures is meant as an additional way to provide for the safety of businesses, employees, and customers.
Businesses can choose to continue to require face coverings for customers, or to implement additional alternative controls to protect their employees and customers such as plexiglass shielding at point of sale areas, one way aisles, extra sanitization of high touch surfaces, and clearly marking six foot separation for customers in areas where lines form. The full required checklist can be found at larimer.org/coronavirus. Employees are still required to wear face coverings or masks at all times when interacting with customers and other employees.
It is still protocol that if the Health Department determines that an outbreak of COVID-19 is traceable to a particular business, the business may be required to close for a period of time to clean and disinfect the facilities and for additional contact tracing.
Businesses in the personal services category will not have the option to opt out of using face coverings because the state safer-at-home order strictly requires these for employees and customers due to the nature of the services being provided, and inability to employ physical distancing.
The CDC and the US Surgeon General recommends the widespread use of face coverings as a mechanism to slow the spread of COVID-19. The CDC recommends that children over the age of two wear face coverings when possible. The primary transmission of COVID-19 is now known to be by respiratory droplets, and the transmission largely occurs in the first seven days after infection, when people are largely asymptomatic. Face coverings work by reducing the release of infectious droplets into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has the virus yet feels well.
“We are hearing from our businesses that they have found creative options to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets containing the virus, protecting both employees and customers.,” says Tom Gonzales, Public Health Director for Larimer County. “Face coverings are one part of slowing the spread of the virus. Social distancing is also a key part in keeping COVID-19 cases low in our community.”
Local municipalities can be more stringent in their face covering orders. Follow the local guidance set by municipalities if it exists.
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