We are better together! Do your part to Stop the Spread!
San Mateo County Health Officers issued an order on April 17, 2020 generally requiring members of the public and workers to wear face coverings.
The full order can be read here.
Like the Physical distancing order, violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends all citizens voluntarily wear a cloth face mask for essential trips out of the house to the grocery store, doctor, or other public places where the 6-foot social distancing rules may be difficult to maintain. A “Face Covering” means 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 the lower face.
Wearing a cloth mask is meant to help the people around you, especially if you have been infected with Covid-19 but do not have symptoms yet. Some individuals infected with Covid-19 never show symptoms or do not get very sick, but are still carriers. If used properly, a cloth mask can also help you to protect yourself byy creating a barrier for you to keep from accidentally touching your face while outside the home.
All members of the public, except as specifically exemptedin the next section, must wear a Face Covering outside their home or other place they reside in the following situations:
- waiting in line or entering essential businesses such as grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, laundromats, and restaurants.
- when in hospitals, clinics, COVID-19 testing locations, dentists, pharmacies, blood banks and blood drives, other healthcare facilities, mental health providers, or facilities providing veterinary care and similar healthcare services for animals—unless directed otherwise by an employee or worker at the Healthcare Operation.
- while waiting for, riding on, or driving for public transportation, including Caltrain, BART, or paratransit, or are in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicles.
- when inside or at any location or facility engaging in Minimum Basic Operations or seeking or receiving Essential Services.
When Face Coverings are NOT Required
- You Do NOT need to wear a face cover while driving alone, or exclusively with other members of the same family or household, in a motor vehicle.
- This Order does not require that any child aged twelve years or less wear a Face Covering. Parents and caregivers must supervise use of Face Coverings by children to avoid misuse. Also, children under 2 should never wear a mask.
- A Face Covering is not required when a person is in a personal office (a single room) when others outside of that person’s household are not present as long as the public does not regularly visit the room. For instance, a construction worker, plumber, bank manager, accountant, or bike repair person is not required to wear a Face Covering if that individual is alone and in a space not regularly visited by the public, but that individual must put on a Face Covering when coworkers are nearby, when being visited by a client/customer, and anywhere members of the public or other coworkers are regularly present.
Wearing a Face Covering is recommended but not required while engaged in outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling, or running. But social distancing requirements including maintaining at least six feet of separation from all other people to the greatest extent possible.
Because running or bicycling causes people to more forcefully expel airborne particles, making the usual minimum 6 feet distance less adequate, runners and cyclists must take steps to avoid exposing others to those particles, which include the following measures:
- wearing a Face Covering when possible
- crossing the street when running to avoid sidewalks with pedestrians
- slowing down and moving to the side when unable to leave the sidewalk and nearing other people
- never spitting
- avoiding running or cycling directly in front of or behind another runner or cyclist who is not in the same household.
Additionally, it is recommended that folks bring a Face Covering and wear that Face Covering in circumstances where it is difficult to maintain compliance with Social Distancing Requirements. It can be carried around the person’s neck or in a pocket.
- Do not put a face mask on kids under 2 years old because of the risk of suffocation.
- Anyone who has difficulty breathing or might be unable to remove the mask themselves.
- Anyone whom a medical professional has advised that wearing a Face Covering may pose a risk for health-related reasons.
- Anyone who would be at risk based upon their type of work as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
Do NOT buy and hoard medical masks. Health care professionals are already facing a devastating shortage in supplies, and we should not use protective masks that ill patients and health care workers may need.
- Do NOT remove a mask by its mouth area. Grab it by the straps. Wash your hands after touching it.
- Do NOT just wear a standard bandana or scarf, but make sure that your mask has multiple layers and properly and tightly covers your face. How-to tutorial in next section!
It’s a good idea to wash your cloth face covering frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to keep cloth face coverings in until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard cloth face coverings that:
- No longer cover the nose and mouth
- Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
- Cannot stay on the face
- Have holes or tears in the fabric
“We need to make every possible effort to avoid contact with each other” For more information on disease prevention, click here.
Click on any of the buttons below for more information from the CDC website