Contra Costa County health order mandates face coverings

Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, films a video exhibiting how one can make their own face covering. (Credit: CDC)

A new Contra Costa County health order requires anyone working at or visiting an essential business, and also public transit and government workers, to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The order also requires face coverings while public members wait in line to get into essential businesses, like grocery stores or laundromats.

The order, which takes effect Wednesday, April 22, does not require children 12 and younger to wear masks. Children 2 years old or younger must not wear them because of the risk of suffocation.

Members of the public must mask when they:

· work at an essential business
· are inside an essential business
· visit a healthcare provider or facility
· wait in line for or ride public transportation

When outside, everyone must carry masks or face coverings and use them whenever they come near six feet of others outside their own households, the County said.

Businesses are also required to post reminders to visitors about masking and are ordered not to serve customers who do not observe the order. Those working alone in a personal office don’t need to mask unless others enter.

People driving in personal vehicles alone or with members of their households don’t need to wear a mask. Even while wearing face coverings, residents must continue to social distance. Face coverings aren’t required for people leaving homes to exercise, although they should stay farther apart from others while breathing heavily.

“Face coverings can be anything made of cloth, fabric or other permeable material that covers the nose and mouth and the lower part of the face,” according to the County. “Medical-grade masks are not required – a T-shirt or bandana works fine,” said Public Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano.

Visit to read the order or for more information about COVID-19.