Orange County face covering Health Order

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Artwork courtesy of MetroCreativeConnection

On Sunday, May 23, the Orange County Health Care Agency released an order which relates to residents and visitors of Orange County wearing face coverings.

As it relates to face coverings, the OC Health Officer’s Orders reads:

All Orange County residents and visitors shall wear a cloth face- covering when (i) in a public place; (ii) visiting a retail, commercial or other place of business; or (iii) at work, and when the resident or visitor is not able to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person who is not a family/household member or live in the same living unit.

A cloth face-covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth; it 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, such as cotton, silk, or linen; and a face covering may be factory- made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

The cloth face-covering order SHALL NOT APPLY to children under the age of 2; anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance; persons with a medical or mental health condition, or development disability, that prevents wearing a cloth face-covering.

The Orange County Health Care Agency also released Frequently Asked

Questions which clarify their recent order:

• Question: What is a cloth face covering?

• Answer: A cloth face-covering is a material that covers the nose and

mouth; it 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, such as cotton, silk, or linen; and a face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.

• Question: I’m a resident or visitor to Orange County. Where do I have to wear a face covering?

• Answer: Anywhere you come within 6 feet of others who do not live in your household. That includes:

—Waiting in line to go inside a store

—Shopping in a store

—Picking up food at a restaurant

—Waiting for or riding on public transportation

—Riding in a taxi or other ride service vehicle

—Seeking health care

—Going into facilities that are allowed to stay open

—While at work

—When at the beach or an outdoor museum

Question: Who is not required to wear a face covering and where am I not required to wear a face covering?

Answer: The face covering component of the Order does not apply to children under the age of 2; anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance; as well as individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition or developmental disability that prevents it.

In general, as long as you maintain a 6 feet of physical distance from others (excluding your household members), you are not required to wear a face covering. That means, you are not required to wear a face covering when:

At home

In the car alone or with members of the household

When swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling or running alone or with household members

• Question: Why is the OC Health Care Agency requiring face coverings?

—Answer: Many people who test positive for COVID-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading the virus to others without knowing it. A face covering blocks droplets when a person coughs, sneezes, sings or breathes. Countries that advised or require their citizens to wear face coverings in public have been shown to be more successful in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When compliance is high, spreading of the virus slows.

To read this order and the FAQ in its entirety, visit: https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/article/oc-health-officers-orders-recommendations.

Any questions about this Orange County Health Order should be directed to the Orange County Health Care Agency. Please call the OC Health Care Agency’s Health Referral Line toll free at 1-800-564-8448 or TTD (phone for the hearing impaired) at 1-800-801-7100.