Face Covering Information

Covid19 is spread through droplets graphic

State of California Guidance for Face Coverings

Note: The following guidance supersedes face coverings guidance released on June 18, 2020. This updated guidance mandates that a face covering is required at all times when outside of the home, with some exceptions.

Background

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection remains and will continue to be in our midst for the foreseeable next several months. Since the start of the pandemic, we have learned a lot about COVID-19 transmission, most notably that there are a large proportion of people who are infected but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, and they play an important part in community spread. The use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing, sneezing, singing, exercising, shouting, or other forms of increased respiration, and they can also reinforce physical distancing by signaling the need to remain apart. In addition, increasing evidence also demonstrates a cloth face covering or mask also offers some protection to the wearer, too.

The purpose of this guidance is to provide information about when face coverings are required.  It mandates that face coverings be worn state-wide at all times when outside of the home, unless one or more of the exceptions outlined below apply. It does not substitute for existing guidance about physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Guidance

People in California must wear face coverings when they are outside of the home, unless one of the exemptions below applies.

Individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings in the following specific settings:

  • Persons in a car alone or solely with members of their own household.
  • Persons who are working in an office or in a room alone.
  • Persons who are actively 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 outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household.  Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household.
  • 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.
  • Workers who are required to wear respiratory protection.
  • Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.

The following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old. 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. Such conditions are rare.
  • 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.

Note: Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.

CONTRA COSTA HEALTH OFFICER ISSUES NEW "COVER YOUR FACE" ORDER - 4/17/2020

A new health order in Contra Costa County requires anyone working at or visiting an essential business, such as a grocery store or gas station, to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The order, effective Wednesday, April 22, also requires public transit and government workers to wear masks when they come close to others, or where the public is likely to be present.

Health Order for Members of the Public and Workers to Wear Face Coverings

CLOTH FACE COVERINGS SHOULD NOT BE PLACED ON YOUNG CHILDREN UNDER AGE 2, ANYONE WHO HAS TROUBLE BREATHING, OR IS UNCONSCIOUS, INCAPACITATED OR OTHERWISE UNABLE TO REMOVE THE MASK WITHOUT ASSISTANCE.

Your face covering should, cover your mouth and cover your nose.
Wash you mask in hot water by hand or in a washing machine after each use.
  1. How to wear a face covering?
  2. Cloth Face Covering Resources
  3. How do I clean a cloth face covering?

HOW TO WEAR A CLOTH FACE COVERING

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape