SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION) The San Benito County Public Health Officer is preparing a cloth face covering order scheduled to go into effect in the coming week, according to Public Information Officer David Westrick.
A cloth face covering would be required to cover the nose and mouth and be secured around the head with ties or straps or wrapped around the lower part of the face.
The coverings can be factory-made or hand sewn using a variety of materials. Bandanas, scarves, T-shirts and other fabric items can also be used.
"Well I think people are being really conscious. You can see the masks everywhere, people keeping social distancing, even noticing now in the stores that the aisles are one way," said Mike Mifsud, a Hollister resident.
The county recommends washing face coverings often, and ideally after every use or daily. If you have to re-wear it before washing it, the county recommends washing your hands after putting it back on and avoiding touching your face.
Face coverings should not be used if:
- They no longer cover the nose and mouth.
- They have stretched out or the ties are damaged.
- They do not stay on your face.
- They have holes or tears in the fabric.
The county said that face coverings are not a replacement for other measures, such as staying at home, social distancing, washing hands and avoiding touching your face. They should not be used on infants or toddlers if there is a choking hazard.
"Till we get through this, like I said, everyone needs to be patient. Pray for one another and follow the rules, follow the guidelines. They know what they're telling us to do is right," said Mifsud.
When the county previously recommended a cloth face covering, it said the primary role of wearing one is to reduce the release of potentially infectious particles in the air when someone speaks, coughs or sneezes.
In the previous recommendation, the county said the face coverings should be worn when you are in public performing essential activities, such as grocery shopping.
Since the order is still being written, there is no word yet on how this requirement will be enforced.