What to know about the San Diego County's mask order

Homemade mask
Posted at 12:45 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 15:45:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Starting May 1, the County of San Diego will require the public to wear face coverings when within six feet of other people.

The announcement was made on April 24 when county leaders encouraged residents begin following the guidelines immediately.

The new public health order will require residents to wear a facial covering when they leave their homes and are within six feet of non-household members.

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While wearing a mask does not prevent 100 percent of transmissions, the CDC is “advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.”

The exact wording on the county’s website says, “starting May 1, everyone must wear face coverings anywhere in public they come within 6 feet of another person.”

This is based on guidance from the California Department of Public Health.

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Cloth face coverings should cover the nose and mouth with the goal of reducing the spread of the virus through particles in the air when someone coughs, sneezes or talks.

“The main purpose of wearing a mask in the public is not to protect yourself, it is to protect you from inadvertently spreading the infection to someone else,” said Dr. Mark Sawyer, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Rady Children’s Hospital.

The county’s order applies to all children older than two.

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Sawyer said he realizes wearing a facial covering might be difficult for some children, though Sawyer admits, “I don’t think there is any secret way to get that to happen,” if a child refuses.

However, he had a few tips for parents.

“The things you can try to do is to practice wearing them at home inside before you go out. Make sure the parents are also wearing a mask so it makes it more normal for the child,” Sawyer recommended.

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“If you cannot get your child to wear a mask, it’s still OK to go outside, but you want to keep your child 6-feet from others,” he added.

As more businesses and public spaces open back up, Sawyer says masks will become an important tool in allowing safe access.

“We’re all going to be wearing masks for many months and maybe indefinitely."