La Plata and Archuleta counties, Colo.: San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) amended its Face Covering Advisory, originally issued on April 11, 2020, to applaud businesses that require patrons to wear a face covering and that provide simple face coverings for patron use. The re-issued advisory is an important step to slow the spread of the disease caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) as local businesses and worksites take steps to re-open with precautions. In partnership with SJBPH, La Plata and Archuleta County Emergency Operations Centers will distribute free face coverings to their business community partners to encourage customer use.

Through SJBPH’s amended Face Covering Advisory, all employees who interact with customers are required to wear face coverings, as per the statewide guidance, and businesses are strongly encouraged to require face coverings for customers.

Information indicates that covering your nose and mouth can slow the spread of COVID-19 because:

  • Individuals can be contagious before the onset of symptoms. You may be contagious and do not know it. If you have covered your nose and mouth, it can limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • We touch our face less when our face is covered. Touching your face after touching something contaminated with COVID-19 increases your chances of getting sick with the virus.

The face covering advisory is particularly important for workers such as grocery, restaurant, and other employees who have regular and close contact with customers and clients.

Starting May 8, 2020, many non-critical businesses in La Plata County will open their doors to customers with strict public health measures in place. It is important for customers to support the work these businesses have completed to protect their employees and patrons by wearing a face covering while shopping.

SJBPH staff appreciate the efforts local businesses have made to re-open safely by implementing the infection prevention guidance provided by the state and completing SJBPH’s self-certification process. Critical Businesses that have been open throughout the state Stay at Home period now have until May 15, 2020 to self-certify that they are following proper infection prevention practices. Non-critical businesses in La Plata County still must self-certify their operations prior to opening.

Information on how to make face coverings and properly care for them can be found at:

Businesses can self-certify that their infection prevention practices are in compliance with state public health orders at

For the most up to date information on how to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19, visit SJBPH’s website at: