New Bay Area public health recommendation to cover the face when leaving home

by Linda Hubbard on April 3, 2020

Menlo Park City Council member Betsy Nash emails:

“Bay Area health officials are recommending residents cover their nose and mouth with cloth when leaving home for essential travel such as doctor appointments, grocery shopping or pharmacy visits.

“The regional recommendation aligns with new guidance from the California Department of Public Health.

“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.

“Health officials do not recommend that the public use medical masks (N-95 or surgical masks), which are in limited supply and must be preserved for our health care workers and first responders. Learn more  on the county website.”

Footnote: On our shopping trip today, we were quite the pair in our Western style bandanas, and a number of other shoppers wondered where we got them. We ordered long before the coronavirus pandemic but a quick web search reveals that there are a number of sellers on Etsy. And yes, we can stand that close because we are members of the same household.

Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2020


Maria Celeste Wiberg April 03, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Great. Just about time we are doing this.
Thanks for the article.

Alice Newton April 06, 2020 at 2:44 pm

Thank you for this helpful article. A very easy way to make an instant mask is to fold a cloth table napkin in fourths, then fold over the sides and put a rubber band in each side fold to go over your ears. Scrub with soapy water after wearing on one outing (e.g. when you wash your hands), then iron, boil 5 minutes, or dry in a hot dryer to ensure killing any viruses on it. Remove rubber bands before heating mask.

I also suggest setting up an outdoor handwashing station at a faucet to use before entering your house.

Thank you everyone for being diligent about wearing face masks and washing your hands for 20 seconds.

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