Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Free surgical-grade mask program builds upon state efforts to distribute millions of free masks to schools
DENVER — In support of the State of Colorado’s ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to assist in the mitigation of virus spread, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) will offer KN95 and surgical grade masks for free at public libraries, fire stations, recreation centers, VFWs, YMCAs, and high traffic community centers that have agreed to be local redistribution points. Masks will be available later this week and distribution sites are listed at covid19.colorado.gov/freemasks.
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.
“We are on a mission to help Coloradans keep themselves safe, and free medical grade masks are far more effective in preventing infection than cloth masks. By making free medical grade masks available at libraries across our state and soon for home delivery, we are giving Coloradans a powerful tool to avoid infection. We will continue to meet Coloradans where they are at when it comes to accessing the doctor approved vaccine, free testing at community sites, free tests delivered to your home and now providing free, surgical grade masks directly to communities,” said Gov. Polis.
“Colorado is leading the nation in COVID-19 response starting with our free at-home testing program and now or free distribution of high quality KN95 and surgical-grade masks,” Kevin Klein, Director of the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said. “We are meeting the moment by ensuring that Coloradans have access to these masks to protect themselves and stop the spread of the virus.”
“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve prioritized equity and making sure all Coloradans have access to vaccines and other resources to protect themselves, their families, and communities. This mask program is another example of our commitment to end this pandemic,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, CDPHE. “Wearing a mask and following public health protocols provides additional protection for Coloradans on top of getting the life-saving vaccine.”
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.