A number of jurisdictions across Southern California started implementing rules on facial coverings in April as the nation continued to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Since confirmed cases of COVID-19 began to rise in the U.S., officials have been advising against the general public’s use of surgical and N95 masks so that they remain available to health care workers who desperately need them while caring for patients.
California has not mandated the statewide use of facial coverings, emphasizing that frequent hand washing, physical distancing and staying at home remain the best way to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
State officials, however, are allowing local jurisdictions to require residents wear non-medical facial coverings while out in public.
Here’s a list counties that have announced guidance and rules on facial coverings, as well as some of the cities that have released their own stricter mandates:
• Beverly Hills: Effective April 10, everyone must wear facial coverings, including essential workers and residents who leave their homes for walks through their neighborhood. Those driving alone or with members of their households don’t need to wear coverings unless they lower their windows to interact with others such as first responders and food service employees. Click here for more information.
• Burbank: On April 8, the city proclaimed that essential workers and residents visiting essential businesses must wear face coverings. Click here for more information.
• Carson: In an April 9 order, the city declared that workers, residents and visitors must wear a face mask or covering over their nose and mouth while inside businesses and while outside or leaving their home.
• Long Beach: On April 10, the city announced an order that requires residents to wear facial coverings while shopping at grocery stores and other businesses. The city has partnered with the Long Beach Post to create a marketplace that connects local individuals and businesses with people looking to buy masks and facial coverings.
• City of Los Angeles: Effective April 10, essential workers and customers at grocery stores and other essential businesses are required to wear facial coverings. Click here for more information.
• Los Angeles County: In guidelines released on April 10, county officials asked everyone interacting with people who are not members of their households to wear facial coverings in public and private spaces.
• Orange County: On April 9, county officials made a “strong” recommendation that essential workers and residents wear face coverings but stopped short of making it an order.
• Pasadena: Customers who visit essential businesses must wear facial coverings over their nose and mouth. If they don’t, businesses can deny them service. Businesses must provide facial coverings to their workers by April 15. Click here for more information.
• Riverside County: After first recommending in late March that residents wear facial coverings when leaving home, county officials made it mandatory beginning April 4. Sheriff Chad Bianco has warned that the rule is “enforceable by fine, imprisonment, or both.”
• San Bernardino County: Residents must wear facial coverings when going outside. Drivers who are traveling alone or with members of their households don’t need to have them on unless they lower their window and interact with others.
• Seal Beach: In an April 11 Facebook post, the Seal Beach Police Department, said masks and other personal protective equipment are required for people who are out of their house or vehicle and are interacting with workers. Masks are not required while walking or exercising “since it is not essential business,” the message said.
• Ventura County: In an April 9 announcement, the county’s health officer urged residents to cover their mouth and nose with a cloth face covering if they plan to be around others. Click here for more on the county’s proclamation.
For those who don’t have masks, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has offered tutorials on how people can make their own facial coverings at home.
The U.S. surgeon general also demonstrated how to create a facial covering with cloth and elastics:
Califoria released the following guidelines on how to use facial coverings effectively:
• Facial coverings do not replace your need to stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not members of your household.
• Wash your hands before and after touching your facial covering.
• The covering can be sewn by hand or made in a factory using cotton, silk or linen.
• You can also use items found in the home such as scarves, T-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.
• The mask must cover the nose and mouth.
• Wash facial coverings after each use or at least once daily. You can also keep them in a bag or bin before placing them in a washing machine with detergent and hot water and drying them in a hot cycle.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer showed how to properly wear a facial covering: