Coloradans with health conditions seek alternative options for face coverings

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DENVER (KDVR) — Coloradans with certain health conditions are seeking alternative options for face coverings to allow them to comply with the statewide mask mandate. 

Tammi Hiskey suffers from minor asthma. She says wearing a traditional cloth mask intensifies her symptoms to the point where she feels unsafe wearing one.

“It’s really hard because my breath comes back in my face and it almost feels like I’m going to pass out,” Hiskey said.

The mandate offers an exemption for those with certain health issues that prevent them from safely wearing a face covering. However, some say they are still turned away by businesses even with a doctor’s note.

Yanick Imhof, co-founder of “Kowch” says he believes their product could help those who are unable to safely wear a mask. The company, formed shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, designs clear face coverings made from sustainable materials.

“It’s super light, very comfortable. People can see your face, see your smile and your facial expression,” Imhof said.

Imhof says the goal of their product was originally to help people working in education and those who are hard of hearing. He says only recently did they discover how great the need is for a face covering that is safe for people who struggle to breathe or are claustrophobic.

“We see so many people in need of having a solution that is good for them and this is what we’d like to do as well,” Imhof said.

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