California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings title=
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings
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Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Source: California Public Health Department

California’s public health officials today released guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against COVID-19 for Californians who must leave their homes to conduct essential activities. The guidance does not require people to wear face coverings – and is not a substitute for the state’s current guidance regarding social distancing and hand washing. The state also does not recommend Californians use N-95 or surgical masks, which are needed for our health care workers and first responders who will be there for when our lives at risk.

“Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing or frequent hand washing, which we know are amongst the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Health Officer. “Wearing a cloth face covering could provide some additional benefit by acting as a reminder for other people to keep their distance, and it could help reduce the spread of infectious particles from those who could be infected but don’t have symptoms.”

“Face coverings could provide some additional protection against COVID-19, but Californians should not have a false sense of security if they choose to wear them. Make sure you’re also staying 6 feet away from other people if you have to leave your home to get groceries or prescriptions,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

The new guidance reminds Californians that the best defense against COVID-19 continues to be: 

  • Staying at home and physical distancing 
  • Washing hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding being around sick people

The use of cloth face coverings could reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by individuals who do not have symptoms and may reinforce physical distancing. Public health officials also caution that face coverings may increase risk if users reduce their use of strong defenses such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing.

For more information, please see the Face Coverings Guidance. 

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Sal15puedes Apr 03, 2020 06:52 PM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

The more precautionary measures we take, the lower the curve, the smaller the spread, the healthier the world and the less reason we have to be stressed I tell my child. I have an N95 left over from the Thomas fire that I've worn the few times I've gone out. I want to explain to everyone I see that it's used so I can't donate it to those under equipped on the front line but I don't get close enough to anyone to be able to explain. Recommended shelter reading: The National Security Council's 2016 Playbook For Early Response To High Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats And Biological Incidences. It's color coded in layman's terms, even I understand it.

EastBeach Apr 03, 2020 10:41 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Chances are you'll touch your face when putting on and/or taking off your mask. So it's worth noting to be careful and also to wash your hands before doing either. Nurses and doctors are trained in "gowning" and "degowning" practices so they know how to safely do this. But the average person doesn't think about this. Be safe.

EastBeach Apr 03, 2020 10:48 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

To add ... a lecture by an infectious disease specialist (wish I could find the link) said when SARS hit Hong Kong there was a disturbing rise in infections among nurses. Amazingly it turns out they were using improper gowning/degowning related to their PPE/respirators. Corrective action solved the problem.

Bird Apr 03, 2020 10:54 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

9:25: Health care workers need protective coverings; the rest of us need to practice physical, aka "social", distancing and, except for essentials, stay at home. Yes, Asians have worn masks for years, but that seemed to be more for the extreme air pollution in Chinese cities. Wearing such masks does not seem to have stopped the initial development of any of the recent viruses that came from the food markets there.

giftedinSB Apr 03, 2020 08:33 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

If people want to make their own cloth mask, then good for them. But it really bothers me to see so many people wearing N95 or surgical masks when there is a critical national shortage for medical professionals. We need to save these supplies for people working in hospitals because the supply is nearly depleted.

LnOfan Apr 03, 2020 10:41 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Thank you for your reply. I have been reusing an N95 mask from the Thomas Fire. I buy groceries for the older people in our family. It’s more important that people stay home to prevent others from having to go to the hospital. Hopefully if people have extra N95 face masks they will donate them to the hospital.

lovesbalot Apr 03, 2020 12:46 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Wearing masks is going to help slow the spread. Of course we will keep washing hands, cleaning areas, and practicing serious social distancing. Lots of people I know still have masks from Thomas fire. Use them if you have them. I see people use scarves too. probably not as good as mask but definitely helps for a quick visit to a store.

Minibeast Apr 03, 2020 01:49 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

MIDAIR: "Follow the employer’s maximum number of donnings (or up to five if the manufacturer does not provide a recommendation) and recommended inspection procedures."--------------------------But, in examining "use," as stated in attached link, we would have to assume this applies mainly to doctors, nurses and other health practitioners, and their intensive daily use (i.e., using one mask and for many hours per day)----------------------- https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html#ref19----------Read the article (put out by CDC) and understand that there are MANY caveats to using a respirator mask, including the fact that you might inadvertently touch the outside of the mask and thus come in contact with the virus. VERY detailed instructions on how to wear, how to use . . .

a-1591073584 Apr 03, 2020 09:16 AM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

What it does is be a reminder to not touch your face; it does not prevent the transmission of Coronavirus-19. As it says, "The guidance does not require people to wear face coverings – and is not a substitute for the state’s current guidance regarding social distancing and hand washing. The state also does not recommend Californians use N-95 or surgical masks, which are needed for our health care workers and first responders who will be there for when our lives at risk." Imo, if the state is going to require its residents to wear masks, it/the state should make them available. It is close to disgusting to see people wearing the all-important to health care workers N95 masks outside of the health care setting.

Ahchooo Apr 02, 2020 08:10 PM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Yes! My mask protects you, your mask protects me. We must still keep physical distance, and behave as if our masks are *not* keeping us safe. Get or make a few cotton masks and wash them regularly. The virus is damaged by soap and detergent, so you don’t need to go wild with fancy disinfectants. Keep washing hands, etc.

a-1591073584 Apr 02, 2020 05:42 PM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

I wore a mask the other day as I just had dental surgery (it also hid the swelling) and people looked at me like I was crazy. I can't believe how many people I see out who are not social distancing and just carrying on like all is normal. And most of them that I have seen in North County are over the age of 60.

Jfc723 Apr 02, 2020 05:33 PM
California Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings

So why choose a picture of someone wearing a mask. If you are going to recommend SAY IT if not then don’t confuse people. I am in favor pf wearing mask and will do so from now on. Even though n95 are out of stock everyway Im looking into a 100%cotton cloth alternative. Something is better than nothing.

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