On June 18, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued guidance mandating the use of cloth face coverings by the general public when outside the home (with exceptions). Effective immediately, people in California must wear face coverings when engaged in high-risk situations to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, and provide for a safe, successful and sustained reopening.
Mono County Public Health Officer Dr. Tom Boo previously issued a similar Order within Mono County on May 1, 2020.
According to the State Order, “Because of our collective actions, California has limited the spread of COVID-19 and associated hospitalizations and deaths in our state. Still, the risk for COVID-19 remains, and the increasing number of Californians who are leaving their homes for work and other needs, increases the risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection.”
Facial coverings are REQUIRED under the following high-risk circumstances:
- Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space ;
- Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
- Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
- Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
- Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
- Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
- Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
- Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
- In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present; or
- Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.
- While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.
Individuals can be infected with COVID-19 and show no symptoms of illness, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of facial coverings as one way to reduce the chance of spreading the virus to someone else. Facial coverings primarily benefit others, but may also help protect the wearer from infection.
A face covering or homemade mask that covers the nose and mouth can be made of a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk, or linen. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, neck gaiters, or towels. Details on how to sew or make simple face coverings can be accessed online.
The California Department of Public Health Order requiring the use of facial coverings when engaging in high-risk situations is in effect through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency declaration.
Facial coverings are NOT REQUIRED under the following circumstances:
- Persons age two years or under. These very young children must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.
- Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.
- Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.
- Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings or masks for both inmates and staff.
Cover. Distance. Wash and #StaySafeToStayOpen!