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KUNC is a member of Capitol Coverage, a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Fifteen public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

'Get Creative': Polis Urges Residents To Wear Cloth Masks While Away From Home

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Office of the Governor via Facebook
Gov. Jared Polis sports a Colorado-themed bandana in this selfie taken on April 3.

Gov. Jared Polis is urging all residents to wear cloth masks or scarves if they need to leave their homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Polis says wearing the masks at grocery stores and on walks will slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow Colorado to lift its stay-at-home order sooner.

Wearing a Colorado-themed mask at a press conference Friday afternoon, Polis encouraged residents to be creative and make them at home.

"Get out those old t-shirts," Polis said. "You know. '1998 Guacamole Champion.' It shrunk. You never thought you'd use it again. Get it out of the bottom of your drawer and be creative about making it into a mask. Cover your mouth. Cover your nose and make sure you can breathe."

Polis stressed that residents do not need the medical masks first responders use to treat COVID-19 patients.

His recommendation comes after the CDC reported as many as a quarter of the people who have COVID-19 do not show any symptoms.

The call to wear masks also came moments after Polis said more than 100 people have been killed by COVID-19 in Colorado.

Polis says the state is partnering with the private sector to deliver thousands of cloth masks to residents who cannot make them.

Residents can find resources at coloradomaskproject.com.

Also on Friday, Polis announced more measures to help residents who have been affected financially by the virus.

He said businesses can have a 30-day extension on paying their state sales tax bills. He also announced property owners can delay paying this month's property taxes until May 1 without penalty.

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