eUpdate - April 17, 2020
Face Coverings Now Required For Most People in Public Settings
New health order for those age 12 and over
County Health Order
issued today, and effective Wednesday, April 22, requires anyone working at or visiting an essential business, such as a grocery store or gas station, to cover their face to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This order is not a substitute for sheltering at home, 6 feet of physical distancing, and frequent hand washing. Even when not required by the new Health Order, people are "strongly encouraged" to wear face coverings when in public.
When is a face covering mandatory?
- When you are inside of, or in line to enter, any government office or essential business (including grocery stores, laundromats, restaurants, and gas stations).
- When you are at any healthcare facility - unless directed otherwise by a facility worker.
- When you are waiting for or riding on public transportation and the driver must also wear a face covering.
- All essential businesses and essential government functions must require their employees to wear face covering when interacting in person with any member of the public; in any space visited by the public regardless of whether any public is present at the time (including service/check-out counters and grocery store aisles); in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale; in any enclosed area when other people are present.
What is an appropriate face covering?
- A covering made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of your lower face (do not cover your eyes or forehead).
- Examples include scarf/bandana, neck gaiter, homemade covering from a t-shirt, sweatshirt or towel (held on with rubber bands or otherwise); or a mask (need not be medical-grade).
- Must allow you to breathe comfortably through the nose and not require frequent adjustment.
- Covering should be cleaned frequently.
- Here's information from the CDC on how to make, wear and clean a covering.
A face covering is not required in the following situations
What about during outdoor recreation?
- It is recommended, but not required, to wear a face covering when walking, hiking, bicycling or running.
- You should still maintain at least 6 feet of separation from others.
- Running and cycling cause airborne particles to extend further than 6 feet, so runners/cyclers should wear face covering when possible, cross street when running to avoid sidewalks with pedestrians, slow down/move to the side when unable to leave the sidewalk and nearing others, never spit, and avoid running/cycling directly in front of or behind another runner/cycler who is not in your household.
- Good to carry a face covering in your pocket when walking, hiking, running or cycling, in case you end up close to others.
- Children age 12 and under aren't required to wear a face covering.
- While driving alone or driving exclusively with other members of the same family/household.
- When a medical professional advises that a face covering may pose a health risk.
- For someone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
- When workplace safety guidelines or a government regulator determines that wearing a face covering creates a risk to the person related to their work.
- When someone is in a personal office as long as the public or co-workers do not regularly visit the room.
- Any child 2 years or younger must not wear a face covering due to risk of suffocation.
Any business that is legally allowed to be open must take steps to prevent those not wearing a face covering from entering, must not serve that person and must remove them from the business.
Failure to comply with the new order is a public nuisance and punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
Your efforts to cover your face will help prevent spreading the virus to others.
A full copy of the New Health Order is
Check out Contra Costa's most recent COVID-19 information
"Stay in place, maintain your space, cover your face!"
Supervisor, District One
Contra Costa County
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D
El Cerrito, CA 94530
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