UPDATED FAQs - Face Masks
The local universal masking order is in response to a recent rise in local, statewide, and national COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to the Delta variant. This action aligns with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines and orders.
For the full Health Officer Order CLICK HERE
No, there is no fine for using an N-95 that you already have. We do, however, strongly suggest that you do not purchase an N95 if you don't already have one as they are in short supply and are critically needed for our front-line healthcare workers. The face coverings that are being required can be as simple as bandanas, scarves or made at home using different types of fabric. The CDC website has great information on how to make and maintain your own face coverings.
No, masks that have a one-way valve designed for easier breathing (the valves are often a raised plastic disk about the size of a quarter, on the front or side of the mask) One-way valves allow droplets out of the mask, putting others nearby at risk.
The order does not require people who are exercising or taking a walk outside alone to wear face coverings, but instead, focuses on when people are in public places where they cannot always remain six feet apart from others.
The order does not require people who are riding in the car with other members of their household to wear a face-covering. The order intends to prevent the spread of illness in public spaces where it is difficult to always remain six feet apart from others.
Masks are required for all individuals in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status:
On public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation)
Masks are required for all individuals, in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status (and surgical masks are recommended):
Additionally, masks are required* for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).
See State Health Officer Order, issued on July 26, 2021, for a full list of high-risk congregate and other healthcare settings where surgical masks are required for unvaccinated workers, and recommendations for respirator use for unvaccinated workers in healthcare and long-term care facilities in situations or settings not covered by Cal OSHA ETS or ATD.
Yes. Wearing face coverings is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. CDC still recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from other people (social distancing), frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but it may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. View CDC’s guidance on how to protect yourself.
"Face coverings," as used in the Health Officer Order, include but are not limited to, scarves (dense fabrics without holes), bandanas, neck gaiters, and other coverings that completely cover the nose and mouth, fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, can be secured with ties, ear loops, or other fasteners, and allow for breathing without restriction. Masks that have a one-way valve designed for easier breathing (the valves are often a raised plastic disk about the size of a quarter, on the front or side of the mask). Holes or one-way valves allow droplets out of the mask, putting others nearby at risk.”
- Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask 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 mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC guidance.