VOICE News Staff
San Bernardino, CA – On Thursday afternoon April 2, 2020, San Bernardino County Health officials recommended people use face coverings when leaving home to conduct essential business such as grocery shopping, going to a medical appointment, or visiting a pharmacy to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Riverside County issued a similar order on Tuesday.
Health officials said they reached this decision after reviewing guidance released Wednesday, April 1st , by the state Department of Public Health.
Face coverings may include coverings that secure to the ears or back of the head and encompass the mouth and nose. Homemade cloth ear loop covers, bandannas and handkerchiefs, and neck gaiters may be used to reduce the spread of COVID-19 particularly among asymptomatic people.
“Surgical masks and N95 masks should not be used because they must be preserved for healthcare workers and emergency responders,” explained Acting County Public Health Officer Dr. Erin Gustafson. “If you do use a face covering, make sure to practice frequent hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the covering.”
Gustafson recommended people wash their cloth face coverings frequently after each use—at least daily. Place face coverings in a bag until washing them in detergent with hot water and dried on a hot cycle. Discard cloth face coverings that no longer cover the nose and mouth; have stretched out or damaged ties and straps; cannot stay on the face; and have holes or tears in the fabric.
“Covering your face may help reduce the chance that asymptomatic people spread COVID-19. This is not as effective as staying home and practicing social distancing,” advised Curt Hagman, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.
Hagman added, “We all need to do our part to flatten the curve and residents should use this as one more tool to stop the spread of this disease.”
For more information about COVID-19 in San Bernardino County, visit sbcovid19.com or contact the coronavirus public information line from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (909) 387-3911, or send an email to email@example.com.