Riverside County health officials are recommending that residents cover their nose and mouth when leaving home for essential travel in order to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. However, officials have advised against purchasing N95 or medical grade masks, because healthcare workers desperately need them. The face coverings do not have to be hospital grade but need to cover the nose and mouth. For example, bandanas, fabric masks, and neck gaiters are acceptable. Fabric covers and bandanas can be washed and used again.
The rationale for covering one’s face comes from the belief that transmission occurs primarily through droplets from an infected individual, which fabrics can easily filter. This not only helps to reduce the risk a well person can breathe those droplets in, but also protects others around someone with mild symptoms who may not yet realize they have the illness. The Riverside County health officials state face covering should be worn anytime a person is outside of their home, even in offices of essential businesses.
Below you will find links to the California Department of Public Health and their guidance.
CDPH Press Release