To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Plumas County Health Officer, Dr. Mark Satterfield, is requiring residents to wear a face covering when going out into the public, effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 8. Combined with staying home, social distancing and frequent hand hygiene, face coverings are shown to help slow spread of COVID-19.
These changes reflect the serious nature of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and increased understanding about how the virus spreads. We know from recent studies that people infected with COVID-19 can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms or without ever showing symptoms.
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of others who are nearby. When properly worn by the user, facial coverings have the potential to slow the spread of the virus by reducing the release of these droplets into the air.
When and who should wear a face covering:
- All persons; unless a medical professional has advised that wearing a face covering may pose a risk to the person wearing the face covering for health-related reasons; except children 2 years and younger (risk of suffocation); it is recommended for 2-12 years old, with parent/caregiver supervision.
- Inside public spaces or waiting in line to enter public spaces.
- Seeking health care.
- Waiting for or riding on mass transit or other shared transportation.
- In common areas of buildings, such as hallways, stairways, elevators and parking facilities.
- Workers at businesses physically open and in areas where the public is present or likely to be present.
- Workers in any space where food is being prepared and/or packaged for sale.
- Drivers/operators of public transit.
- Outdoor activities with others, not in same household and maintaining social distancing could be unpredictable or challenging.
Businesses must take reasonable measures, such as posting signs, to remind patrons about face coverings, and may not serve customers who do not observe the order. Workers do not need to wear face coverings if they are alone in a personal office. Face coverings are not required for those who work within a stable group of the same people provided they: (1) do not interact with the public, (2) do not perform the handling, preparation, or packaging of food, (3) work in a location that is closed to the public, (4) are part of a same working group (typically not more than 12); and (5) are working in conditions where they are not likely to come into contact with others outside the same group while at work.
The California Department of Public Health provides these guidelines for cloth masks/face coverings:
- Face coverings can be made from cloth, be factory-made or hand-sewn, or improvised using bandannas, scarves, T-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.
- The material should cover the nose and mouth.
- Ideally, face coverings should be washed after each use. Dirty masks should be placed in a dedicated laundry bag or bin.
- Use detergent and hot water when washing cloth masks and dry them on a hot cycle.
- Be sure your mask is comfortable and secure.
- Wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after touching your face or face coverings.
- If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing it, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face.
Due to the shortage of personal protective equipment across the state, residents should refrain from trying to purchase medical-grade masks for their own use and to utilize homemade face coverings instead.
According to the Plumas County statement regarding the order, “Thank you Plumas County for doing an amazing job of slowing the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, practicing social distancing and maintaining good hand washing hygiene. However, COVID-19 cases are still being identified in areas close to Plumas. An increase of visitors from outside the county and more interaction as businesses start to re-open put Plumas County at risk for positive cases of COVID-19. The Health Officer Order for required face coverings will help reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 in Plumas County.”
For a copy of the Health Officer’s Order go to plumascounty.us or you can go to Plumas County Public Agency located at 270 County Hospital Road Suite 206, Quincy. If you have any questions you can call Plumas County COVID-19 informational line at 283-6400 or e-mail [email protected]