City Council expands mask requirements in Golden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2020

For more information, contact:
Communications Manager/PIO
Karlyn Tilley
Office: 303-384-8132
ktilley@cityofgolden.net

Emergency Ordinance Expands Mask Requirements in Golden

Golden, Colo. — July 10, 2020 — Golden City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance during their meeting last night, which expands current mask requirements to include indoor and outdoor areas of the city. This goes into effect today. Council made this decision in an effort to protect the community against COVID-19 and keep businesses open.

Ordinance 2140 requires face coverings for anyone working or visiting a building that’s open to the public. The order also requires masks in public areas outside, unless you can maintain six feet of separation from others. This includes streets, sidewalks, parks, trails, etc.

Exemptions to the mask order include:

  • Children under 3 years of age
  • People with existing medical conditions that make mask-wearing unsafe to their health
  • Anyone undergoing a medical procedure (ex. Dentist or doctor appointments)
  • When you are seated and eating or drinking
  • Schools
  • Organized sports leagues that are already in compliance with health guidelines

In Golden, follow the Golden Rule and wear a mask to protect others!

This Ordinance expires on Aug. 14 unless City Council votes to extend it. They will re-visit the mask ordinance monthly and make adjustments as necessary based on current health guidelines and pandemic concerns.

Additionally, Council directed staff to look for ways to re-open Clear Creek for limited recreation. Until safe solutions can be identified and implemented, access to the creek will remain closed.

Link to full ordinance
Emergency Ordinance 2140: Mask requirements in Golden

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What’s the deal with masks? Learn more about masks here…

Emergency City Council Meeting 6/30/20

Legislative and administrative actions to reduce Clear Creek crowding, encourage masks, and improve safety and comfort in Golden.

Golden City Council discusses Clear Creek access and additional mask and face covering requirements at emergency meeting.

View full City Council meeting video (3+ hrs long). The Mayor & City Manager’s Coronavirus Community Update the next day is easier to digest at around 1/2 hour.

Clear Creek and mask update
Clear Creek Access and Mask Update

We believe the various legislative and administrative requirements around the Creek and face covering requirements will combine with enforcement and education, education, education to result in the improvement in compliance culture around masks and social distancing that will increase safety, reduce risk of super-spreader events, and allow residents and guests more comfort in enjoying the outdoors.

Bill Fisher, Ward 4 City Councilor

Actions Taken

  • Clear Creek access closed. To be reviewed by City Council July 9th. Paths and trails remain open. Farmer’s Market remains open.
  • City Manager requires face coverings in public areas when unable to maintain physical distance.
  • City Council agrees to consider comprehensive mask/face covering Emergency Ordinance (1st reading July 8th, 2nd reading July 9th).
  • City Council requests emergency authority from Governor Polis to manage Clear Creek water use during pandemic. If granted, this would allow for potential on-creek usage regulation and allowances.

Below are my prepared remarks for the June 30th meeting

I want to acknowledge a concern being voiced by some: Why did we lock down and sacrifice our mental, physical, and economic health to now see the virus again start to rampage through our communities?

The answer – “Safe at home” gave us something we desperately needed: Time. 

It truly made us safer and DID save thousands of lives, and allowed us to stock up for a battle that’s poorly understood, get better at the fight and learn new tricks, and prepare ourselves and our families for the 21st Century version of trench warfare. 

In Colorado, for example, we have learned that if one of our residents went to the hospital in March with COVID, as opposed to right now, she or he was 50% more likely to die in the hospital then vs now. That’s real. That’s progress.

At every turn during the first few months of the pandemic, officials were behind the curve by weeks or months. In some ways (PPE, testing, and contact tracing), we still are.

In other ways, we are finally catching up here in Colorado – and it is again time to look ahead and make smart, tough choices. We must lead with urgency.

Out of the woods?

  • The World Health Organization Director General warns we are not out of the woods. All countries are facing a delicate balance, between protecting their people, while minimizing the social and economic damage. 
    • “It’s not a choice between lives and livelihoods. Countries can do both.”
  • The United States’ top infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci agrees, stating: “Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surges…”, noting that if we don’t turn things around, “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 (Illnesses) a day.” 
  • CDC Deputy Director Dr. Schuchat says, “This is just the beginning of America’s New Coronavirus Surge.”

We are seeing it… Similar to Denver, Adams, Arapahoe… Jefferson County has had the highest number of weekly positive tests since late May. 

Many communities across the US also recognize this risk. For example, cities and counties from  LA to Miami are closing beaches or starting to require masks to stop repeat problems and reduce transmission, and leadership across the political spectrum is urging masks.

Finally – The Governor of Colorado just announced a return to closures of bars, etc.

So, do we go “backwards” as people are saying into a complete lock down? Or during the past several months have we learned there may be ways to avoid sacrificing our economic and social health while staying safe enough to have a functioning society?

Every person and every community has a role to play. Golden is no different – we are a popular destination and place to live and certainly have a role to play keeping our community and guests safe and on track.

If we found a drug that reduced your chance of getting COVID-19 disease by 5x, everyone would be clamoring to take it. Well, we do. It’s called the “6 Foot Social Distancing Mask” drug. And right now, it’s the only thing we think works while we figure out testing and tracing and develop a vaccine.

It’s time to use it, and in the same way vaccinations help us and our neighbors, it’s a public health issue where it’s time to stand up, and be neighborly, and ensure we can have the opportunity to keep our economic engine humming and keep safe everyone we care about: our families, our elders, people with immune or other disease issues at greater risk, and our community.

Managing crowds on the Creek will be challenging – and require changes. Unfortunately we have to consider the maximum damage from large crowds initially – and then carve out spaces for reduced risk activities. One person emailed that a person sitting on a park bench reading a book isn’t a danger. Probably not. But that image is not consistent with what we are discussing, and honestly if it was me I would sit somewhere else for now.

I’m in for making changes, and I’m in for the long haul to keep adjusting this program to maximize effectiveness and keep a close eye on fairness and equity. I don’t care how many meetings we have to have to do this, I care that we save lives and do the right thing including leadership with urgency.

Let’s keep our economy afloat. Let’s acknowledge real and present concerns of our fellow Golden residents for COVID and general Creek “busyness,” and let’s do so in a way that references the reality of persistent racial injustice, misogyny and financial discrimination so we can be as equitable as this terrible virus allows.

Even as we invite guests, we must also acknowledge the rights of our residents to have a say in access and use of the Creek through our town – crowding is what, in part, we were already focused on with the Heart of Golden Project!

In an abundance of caution, reviewing Creek access is the right move to keep from creating a super-spreader situation while we get the opportunity to creatively make exceptions and open. Unfortunately as a solution it’s more of a hammer than a scalpel… that must be refined with the appropriate openings, exceptions, etc.

Strong Mask Culture

masks. Masks! MASKS!!!!

Mask wearing Clear Creek
Wearing mask along Clear Creek in Golden

At first we heard masks didn’t work, so what gives? Why keep wearing them now?


Don’t forget: Good hand hygiene and physical distancing are the best ways to reduce your risk. Using face coverings when unable to distance is a reasonable (yet imperfect) way to go. Here’s what Johns Hopkins Medicine has to say about masks.


Easy. Understood. Expected.
Thursday July 9, Golden passes mandatory mask requirement.

Order extended County-wide July 14th.

Statewide order expanded for mask requirements July 16th.


surgical_mask
surgical mask

Like many health professionals, I’m fielding questions about masks. I research Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines for my Hospice’s 100+ community healthcare personnel and assisted Golden organizations and volunteers stay safer and sort through all the advice.


Masks are demonstrated to be beneficial in supporting our health with improving understanding of transmission through airborne aerosolization (micro droplets), not simply larger droplets and fomite transmission (inanimate objects such as door handles, countertops, utensils, etc.).

June update: A meta study looked at 172 other studies, published in the Lancet in June. The analysis found that face mask use “could result in a large reduction in risk of infection.” It also found reduction in transmission with physical distancing and eye protection.

Masks requirements now in effect for more than 60% of Coloradans.

Re-breathing CO2? DEBUNKED myth.

CO2 rebreathing is not a problem. Surgeons and health care professionals wear tighter-fitting masks 12+hours a day without issue. CO2 goes through the mask, and the mask only holds a tiny quantity of air compared to what we breathe. This BBC article is as good as any in debunking this dangerous myth.


Denver’s response to the 1918 Flu epidemic and mask wearing. A Cautionary Tale and neat photograph by a University of Michigan Medical Historian (who knew that was a thing? 😉



Which is the Best Face Mask to wear? And can a homemade cloth masks do anything?


Buckle UP! Let’s save lives (maybe our own) & keep business open.


On Friday April 3rd, Governor Polis urged Coloradoans to adopt a “Strong Mask Culture” when leaving the house. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) now says the same.

Why? How do we make or get one? And how do we wear a mask?


“The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

CDC recommendations on cloth mask use

Disclaimer: Nobody’s an expert on this right now, including me. I’m sharing thoughts (not medical advice) regarding masks and resources to help you make educated decisions about your own health in this uncertain time.

Why wear a mask? Especially cloth masks or face coverings?

  1. Even a cloth mask or other non-medical face covering provides some protection against virus germs getting into your nose or mouth and infecting you.
  2. If you have the COVID-19 virus? (more than 25% of infected people do not have symptoms) There is now significant evidence that wearing masks reduces transmission of the virus to someone else.
  3. Cloth masks and non-medical face coverings allow our community to direct medical/surgical and N95 masks for use by healthcare professionals.
  4. Finally, new evidence suggests the financial $$$ benefit of wearing masks could be as much as $5,000+ per person! (read more from Yale).

Tip: The CDC and Surgeon General encourage the public to allow HCP (health care personnel) first access to surgical and N95 masks and other personal protective equipment.

How do I make a mask? How do I wear one?


Tip: Visit COVID-19 Resources for Goldenites for updated information relevant to residents in Golden.

Bill Fisher, BSN, RN, CHPN