Gov. Jared Polis on Friday asked Coloradans to "wear nonmedical cloth face masks when they go out of the house" during the coronavirus crisis.
Polis made the advisory during his daily news conference updating the public on the virus and the spread of COVID-19.
"When you're out of the home, you should use a mask at all times," Polis said.
The governor made it clear that he was talking about simple cloth masks covering the mouth and nose, not medical-grade masks, which are needed by medical and emergency personnel.
He said the masks should be worn when people "go out of the house for necessary activities like grocery shopping or walking around."
He said the masks would provide a level of protection from droplets that might carry the virus.
The request veers from previous guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that people do not need to wear a face mask unless they are sick or are caring for someone who is sick.
However, President Trump said Friday at his own COVID-19 news conference that the CDC was now recommending that "Americans wear a basic cloth or fabric mask." He called the new guidance "voluntary."
Polis encouraged Coloradans to "have fun with it and make it cool," modeling a colorful mask featuring the state logo.
There's a website www.coloradomaskproject.com for DIY mask ideas.