Face Coverings


Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and self-isolation when sick.

Wearing a Cloth Face Covering

Best Practices

When using cloth face coverings, the public should:

  • Wash their hands with soap and water before putting on your mask.
  • Make sure it covers their mouth and nose. It should fit snugly, but comfortably.
  • Not touch their eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing your mask.
  • When removing, avoid touching their face.
  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after.
  • Remember to wash their mask. Cloth face coverings can go straight in the washing machine or can be washed by hand with soap and warm water.

Who Should Wear Face Coverings

The CDC advises all people over the age of two wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when:

  • in a public place
  • patronizing businesses
  • it is difficult to keep six feet away from other people such as visiting a grocery store/pharmacy or working in areas that involve close proximity with other coworkers

Coverings may include:

  • homemade masks
  • scarfs
  • bandanas
  • handkerchiefs

Residents should continue to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while outside their residence.

Employers are strongly encouraged to provide face coverings to employees who are working in an area or activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet separation from other individuals is not feasible.

ASL: COVID-19 business face covering requirement - accessible video from Alert SAAmerican Sign Language (ASL)

NOTE: IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU NOT OBTAIN OR WEAR MEDICAL MASKS or N-95 RESPIRATORS AS THEY ARE A NEEDED RESOURCE FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS. Our healthcare workers and first responders on the front­line combating COVID-19 must have priority access to medical masks or other personal protective equipment.

How and When to Wear It

Face mask should fit snugly and cover nose and mouth.

Cloth face covering should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Face coverings do not need to be worn in the following circumstances:

  • When exercising outside or engaging in physical activity outside
  • While driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver
  • When doing so poses a greater mental or physical health, safety, or security risk.
    Find out more about face covering accommodations for individuals with disabilities(PDF, 70KB)
  • While pumping gas or operating outdoor equipment
  • While in a building or activity that requires security surveillance or screening, for example, banks
  • When consuming food or drink

Videos

How to Use a Cloth Face Covering

Dr. Dawn Emerick outlines the proper technique for applying and removing cloth face coverings safely.

Make your own Face Covering

Information on how to make your own cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be found on the CDC website.

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