UPDATE: Contra Costa updates public guidance for face coverings to match state’s

Graphic by State of California from Gov. Newsom’s Wear a Mask campaign.

COVID-19 spreading rapidly in county; 209 new cases confirmed today

Contra Costa County today updated its health order about when and where members of the public should wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic to align it with current state guidance.

Local data indicate that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Contra Costa County. The county is currently on the California Department of Public Health’s monitoring list because of increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals. Today Contra Costa reports 209 new confirmed cases.

The updated order specifies that face coverings should be worn in businesses and in areas where people wait in line to enter businesses, and that everyone should wear a mask or face covering whenever they are within six feet of another person who is not a member of their household, except in very limited, industry-specific situations.

7/9/20 CORRECTION & UPDATE: People who have certain health conditions are exempt from wearing masks that fit snugly over the mouth and nose.

The order also requires businesses that are open during the pandemic to ensure their workers and volunteers wear face coverings, and to not serve or allow entry to anyone not wearing face coverings.

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

“We encourage people who need an alternative to consider face shields when and how described by the state guidance, but it is not mandated by the county order,” added Contra Costa Health Services spokesman, Karl Fischer.

“We recognize there is a lot of detailed health guidance coming from state and local sources, and that can be confusing,” said Candace Andersen, chair of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. “With COVID-19 spreading more in our community, it is more important than ever to follow the state health guidance and wear a face covering whenever you go out.”

Face coverings, even if just cloth bandanas, help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by blocking virus-containing droplets that come out of our mouths and noses when we breath, speak, cough or sneeze. Face coverings are one of the simplest and most effective ways to slow the virus spread and allow for further re-opening of the economy. The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health all recommend face coverings due to emerging evidence of benefit in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

  • CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.
  • Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
  • Cloth face coverings should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

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CCHS encourages everyone to take simple steps to protect themselves from COVID-19: Follow the shelter-in-place order, and wear a face covering when you go out or are near other people. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, and always stay home from work or school if you are not feeling well.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus to read the new health order, and for local information about Contra Costa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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