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San Diego County orders some businesses to use face coverings amid coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus protection. Woman wearing mask to avoid infectious diseases.
The County of San Diego has issued a new order: Effective midnight Saturday, April 4, 2020; all employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy or drug store, convenience store or gas station shall wear a cloth face covering as described in the California Department of Public Health face covering guidance.
(Photo by Jason Armond / LAT)

San Diego County officials on Thursday, April 2, 2020 announced several new health orders, including requiring employees who regularly interact with the public to wear face coverings and the mandatory closure of parking lots at all parks and beaches.

Officials also announced a 98-year-old woman died of COVID-19, bringing the region’s death toll to 16.

The county’s new health regulations are as follows:

  • Effective midnight Saturday, April 4, 2020; all employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacy or drug store, convenience store or gas station shall wear a cloth face covering as described in the California Department of Public Health face covering guidance.
  • All businesses that remain in operation in accordance with the health offices order and that allow members of the public to enter their facilities must prepare and post by no later than midnight on Tuesday, April 7 a social distancing and sanitation protocol.
  • All public parks and recreation areas including public beaches shall close their parking lots at these facilities and all such facilities shall be accessible only by members of the public within walking distance. Said facilities shall only be used for walking, hiking or bicycling. The public shall not congregate or participate in active sports activities at said facilities.

According to the California Department of Public Health, a cloth face covering should cover the nose and mouth and can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face.

It can be made of a variety of materials and can be factory-made, sewn by hand or improvised from household items.

County officials said the social-distancing and sanitation protocol will be made available to businesses as a fill-in-the-blank form.

As of Thursday, April 2, the county had logged 966 COVID-19 cases.

About 59 percent of patients are between the ages of 20 and 49. About 19 percent of patients have been hospitalized, and about 7 percent of patients have required intensive care.

County officials further detailed several known outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

There have been seven outbreaks at skilled nursing facilities or long-term care facilities which have accounted for a total of 41 cases and three deaths. There have also been four community outbreaks accounting for 15 cases and one death.

Lyndsay Winkley is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune.


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