Colorado is planning to distribute free KN95 masks

A sign in Denver encourages face masks.
David Zalubowski/AP
A sign encouraging the use of face coverings stands outside the History Colorado Center as traffic passes southbound on Broadway Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Denver.

Update 8:10 p.m., Jan. 19

After Gov. Jared Polis announced the state’s mask giveaway on Tuesday, multiple library systems said they did not have masks available to distribute or were not participating. While distribution did indeed begin Wednesday at some library systems, others say they may delay the start of distribution.

Read the full story here.

Our original story continues below.

Starting "after Jan. 19," Colorado will offer KN95 and surgical-grade masks free of charge, according to state officials.

Coloradans can look to get those masks at the addresses listed below. They include fire stations, libraries, and recreation centers.

However, the rollout might be looking a bit rocky. Not long after the announcement of the program on Tuesday, the Denver Public Library system stated on Twitter it would not immediately be distributing masks, contradicting the original list of locations provided by the office of Gov. Jared Polis. That tweet has now been deleted.

Distribution has begun in Garfield County. The Poudre and Pikes Peak library districts both opted in and said their programs would be underway soon. Pikes Peak library district said it would be announcing when the distribution would be begin.

A spokesperson for the governor's office said start dates could vary by location and suggested that people call ahead to confirm that a place on the list has masks to distribute.

There will be a limit of five masks per person per month.

Health officials recommend upgrading from cloth masks in light of the omicron variant of COVID-19, which is highly infectious.

Gov. Jared Polis, speaking to Colorado Matters, said people can get a week’s worth of use out of each mask.

“As long as you're not getting it wet or destroying it, the filtration part still works and as long as the elastic part still works and keeps it flush to your face,” Polis said.

A spokesman for the governor explained that federal relief dollars will help defray the costs.

Polis continues to leave mask rules up to local officials and will not return to the statewide mandate that was in place early on in the pandemic. He says getting all three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection.

The move to provide free masks to the public comes as the omicron variant pushes case numbers to record levels and as hospitals feel a staffing crunch

Localities can choose to participate in the new effort, so this list of places to get free masks may grow. Read more about the state's program here.

Where to find free KN95 masks:

Aguilar Public Library146 West Main Suite 578, Aguilar, CO 81020
Akron Public Library302 Main Ave, Akron, CO 80720
Alamosa Public Library300 Hunt Ave., Alamosa, CO 81101
Anythink LibrariesMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Arapahoe LibrariesMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Aurora Public Library14949 E Alameda Parkway, Aurora, CO 80012
Bemis Public Library6014 S Datura St, Littleton, CO 80120
Berthoud Community Library District236 Welch Ave, Berthoud, CO 80513
Boulder County Nederland Community Library200 Highway 72 North, Nederland, CO 80466
Broomfield Public Library3 Community Park Road, Broomfield, CO 80020
Bud Werner Memorial Library1289 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
Buena Vista Public Library131 Linderman Ave, Buena Vist, CO 81211
Clearview Library District720 3rd St., Windsor, CO 80550
Combined Community Library1007 Main St., Ordway, CO 81063
Conejos County Library District17703 HWY 285., La Jara, CO 81140
Cortez Public Library202 N Park Street, Cortez, CO 81321
Creede/Mineral Combined Library450 Corsair Drive, Creede, CO 81130
Durango Public Library1900 East 3rd Avenue, Durango, CO 81301
Estes Valley Library335 E. Elkhorn Unit 1687, Estes Park, CO 80517
Flagler Community Library311 Main Ave, Flagler, CO 80815
Garfield County LibrariesMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Gilpin County Public Library15131 Highway 119, Black Hawk, CO 80422
Grand County Library DistrictMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Gunnison County Library DistrictMultiple LocationsSee full list here
High Plains Library DistrictMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Hugo Public Library522 2nd Ave, Hugo, CO 80821
Ignacio Community Library District470 Goddard Ave., Ignacio, CO 81137
Jefferson County LibraryMultiple LocationsSee full list here
John C. Fremont Library District130 Church Ave, Florence, CO 81226
Julesburg Public Library320 Cedar Street, Julesburg, CO 80737
Kiowa County Public Library District1305 Goff Street, Eads, CO 81036
La Veta Regional Library District310 S Main St, La Veta, CO 81055
Lake City Public Library206 N Silver Street, Lake City, CO 81235
Lake County Public Library1115 Harrison Ave, Leadville, CO 80461
Lamar Public Library102 E. Parmenter St., Lamar, CO 81052
Limon Memorial Public Library205 E Avenue., Limon, CO 80828
Lone Cone Library District1455 Pinion St., Norwood, CO 81423
Louisville Public Library951 Spruce Street, Louisville, CO 80027
Lyons Community Library451 4th Ave #619, Lyons, CO 80540
Mancos Public Library211 1st Street, Mancos, CO 81328
Meeker Regional Library490 Main St., Meeker, CO 81641
Mesa County LibrariesMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Northern Saguache County Library DistrictSaguache Library: 702 Pitkin Ave #448, Saguache, CO 81149
Baca Grande Library: 67487 CR T, Crestone, CO, 81131
Nucla Public Library544 Main St, Nucla, CO 81424
Ouray Public Library320 6th Ave, Ouray, CO 81427
Pine River Library395 Center Drive, Bayfield, CO 81122
Pitkin County Library120 North Mill Street, Aspen, CO 81611
Poudre River Public Library DistrictMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Pueblo City-County Library DistrictMultiple LocationsSee full list here
Red Feather Lakes Community Library71 FireHouse LN #127., Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545
Ridgway Public Library300 Charles St. Ridgway, CO 81432
Security Public Library715 Aspen Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80911
South Routt Library DistrictOak Creek Public Library: 117 Main Street, Oak Creek, CO 80467
Yampa Public Library: 116 Main Street, Yampa, CO 80483
Southwest La Plata Library DistrictFt. Lewis Mesa Community Library: 11274 Colorado State Hwy. 140, Hesperus, Colorado, 81326
Sunnyside Community Library: 75 County Road 218, Durango, Colorado 81303
Spanish Peaks Library District415 Walsen Avenue., Walsenburg, CO 81089
Trinidad Carnegie Public Library202 N Animas St., Trinidad, CO 81082
Vail Public Library292 W. Meadow Dr., Vail, CO 81657
Wellington Public Library3800 Wilson Avenue., Wellington, CO 80549
West Routt Library District201 E. Jefferson Avenue, Hayden, CO 81639
Westminster Public Library - City of Westminster3705 W 112th Ave., Westminster, CO 80031
Yuma Public Library910 S. Main Street, Yuma, CO 80759