San Mateo County: New Order Requires Face Masks
San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow has issued a new order requiring members of the public and workers at essential businesses to wear face coverings outside the home for certain activities and in places of business. The order will be enforced starting 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 and will remain in effect until it is amended or superseded by the health officer. The order is also set to take effect in the other Bay Area counties.
Who Needs to Wear the Masks?
Members of the public inside or in line to enter essential businesses such as grocery stores and laundromats, when they are in hospitals, clinics, COVID-19 testing locations, dentists and facilities providing veterinary care, and when they are waiting for or riding on public transportation, including ride shares, Caltrain and BART.
Wearing a face covering is recommended but not required for outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling or running, though social distancing requirements still hold. Children under 2 should not wear the masks because of the risk of suffocation and any child under 12 is not required.
What Kind of Masks?
Coverings can be factory-made or from ordinary household materials and can be any type of cloth, fabric or other soft material that covers the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face. Scarves, bandanas, neck gaiters, homemade coverings made from T-shirt material or other fabric and held with rubber bands are appropriate. Purchased masks may also be used but should not be medical grade, such as N95 respirators, which are in short supply and prioritized for health care workers.