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Revised SIP & Masks

Mendocino County Health Officer Issues Facial Covering Order And Revised Shelter-In-Place Order Due To Covid-19 Pandemic

Post Date: 04/24/2020 8:37 AM

County Health Officer Dr. Doohan issued a fourth revised Shelter-In-Pace (SIP) order that goes into effect today, April 24th at 12:00 p.m. and will be in place until May 10, 2020. The major changes to the Order include a lessening of some restrictions: 

Outdoor Recreation may now be initiated from within a 20 mile drive of one’s residence taking into account the new provisions in the Facial Covering Order

Live-streaming of events allows for singing and similar activities provided that venues take protective measures to mitigate COVID-19 transmission

The order is enforceable by imprisonment and/or fine thus we urge all residents to closely read the orders and follow them. The Order is available for review on the County website.

On April 3, 2020, Dr. Doohan released guidance on wearing facial coverings in public. Today, Dr. Doohan converted the guidance to a Facial Covering Order requiring everyone (except for children under 2 and those for whom it is not advised for health-related reasons) wear facial coverings when in public as an additional measure to stop the spread COVID-19 in Mendocino County. The Facial Covering Order will go into effect May 1, 2020 at 12:00pm, to allow time for the general public and employers to procure appropriate facial coverings and comply with the order. Facial coverings are recommended but optional for Children ages 2-12.

“Facial Covering Orders are being widely adopted across California to help protect against asymptomatic spread of COVID-19. Wearing facial coverings in public combined with social distancing practices and sheltering in place are powerful weapons against Covid-19 and are helping prepare our community for limited reopening of activities in May,” Stated County Public Health Officer Dr. Doohan.

The Order states people must wear a facial covering before they enter:

  • An indoor facility (except their home)
  • Any enclosed space
  • An outdoor space where they cannot keep a distance of six feet away from others at all times

When engaging in recreational activities in public, it is recommended that everyone bring a facial covering with them in a safe and accessible location and wear that where it is difficult to comply with social distancing requirements. However, the Order clarifies that for some public recreational activities which cause people to more forcefully expel airborne particles, the six feet social distance requirement may not be enough and may call for additional measures.

This Order applies to employers who continue to operate, under the April 24, 2020 Shelter-In-Place Order. Employers who require their employees to leave their residence to work or provide a service must make sure that their employees comply with this Order while on duty by either:

  • Supplying employees with facial coverings, or 
  • Making sure that employees have access to facial coverings, or 
  • That their employees are using their own facial coverings.

Facial coverings are not required for those who work within a small stable group of the same individuals provided that they meet certain criteria, including that they (1) do not interact with the public, (2) do not perform the handling, preparing or packaging of food, (3) work in a location that is closed to the public, among additional criteria identified in the order.

The Order allows business owners and operators (to the extent not otherwise prohibited) to refuse admission or service to any customer or visitor who refuses to wear a facial covering.

As noted in the original April 3rd guidance, facial coverings means any fabric or cloth that covers the mouth and nose. The facial covering can be made using common everyday household items, can be sewn by hand, or factory-made; no one needs to purchase a mask in order to comply with this Order. The Health Officer continues to discourage the public from purchasing medical grade surgical or N95 masks, which should be reserved for healthcare workers. Facial coverings should be frequently washed, sanitized, or changed, and everyone should wash their hands as soon as possible after touching their facial coverings.

Facial coverings should not be placed on children under the age of 2 or on anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.Facial coverings are recommended (but not required) for children ages 2-12 if possible and under the supervision of their parents or caregivers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these guidelines for face coverings:

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

More information on facial covering guideline is available from the CDC or on the County’s Facial Covering FAQ webpage. Violations of this Order are considered a threat to our county’s health, and adherence is enforceable by law. The Health Officer will continue to evaluate this rapidly evolving situation, and may modify this Order if needed.

For more on COVID-19:

Call Center: (707) 234-6052 or email

The call center is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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