Polis urges Coloradans to wear cloth masks in public – Lakewood Sentinel

Gov. Jared Polis wants Colorado “converting to a mask culture.”

That’s how the governor put it during a news conference where he urged Coloradans to wear face coverings any time they go out of the house for groceries or other essential reasons.

“If you’ve been around grocery stores, you’re noticing people are wearing cloth masks,” Polis said at the April 3 conference. “We want everyone to model that behavior.”

Pausing at multiple points in the news conference to put on his own Colorado-themed cloth mask and speak through it, Polis referenced Asian countries — such as South Korea — that have had notable success in containing COVID-19, the disease caused by a widespread coronavirus.

Those countries “already have a strong mask culture,” and in Japan, for instance, if people are ill, they wear masks on the street “even on a normal day,” Polis said.

At the time, the White House had been expected to advise Americans to wear cloth masks in public in areas where COVID-19 is widespread, according to national news outlets. Shortly after Polis’ address, President Donald Trump announced the guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says to wear cloth face coverings in crowded public settings such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

The governor framed the need to wear masks as “your patriotic duty,” adding that the more people wear masks and stay home, the sooner the state can lift restrictions such as its stay-at-home order.

The masks are “literally