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COVID-19 Update: New Alameda County requirement regarding face coverings

April 24, 2020

On Wednesday April 22, 2020, Alameda County began enforcing Order of the Health Officer No. 20-08 (health-officer-order-20-08-face-coverings-2020.04.17). This order requires the wearing of face coverings in public and certain shared work spaces.

This Order requires that people wear Face Coverings, which may be simple do-it-yourself coverings as further described below, in three main settings.

First, members of the public must wear Face Coverings while inside of or waiting in line to enter Essential Businesses and other businesses or facilities engaged in Minimum Basic Operations, providing Essential Infrastructure, and providing Essential Government Functions (except Healthcare Operations, which are subject to different requirements), when seeking healthcare from Healthcare Operations, and when waiting for or riding on public transportation and other types of shared transportation. Each of the capitalized terms other than “Face Coverings” in the preceding sentence are defined in Health Officer Order No. 20-04.

Second, this Order also requires employees, contractors, owners, and volunteers of all Essential Businesses or those operating public transportation and other types of shared transportation to wear a Face Covering when at work.

And third, this Order also requires workers engaged in Minimum Basic Operations, Essential Infrastructure work, and Essential Government Functions to wear a Face Covering in areas where the public is present or likely to be and at any time when others are nearby.

This Order includes certain exceptions. For instance, this Order does not require that any child aged twelve years or younger wear a Face Covering and recommends that any child aged two years or younger should not wear one because of the risk of suffocation. This Order also does not apply to people who are in their own cars alone or with members of their own household. It also does not require people wear Face Coverings while engaged in outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling or running, though it does recommend that they have a Face Covering with them and still requires them to practice social distancing and other measures to protect against transmission of the virus.