Ventura County encourages masks in public; but not the kind health care workers need

VENTURA COUNTY—The Ventura County Public Health Department is advising the community to wear homemade face masks in public in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Public Health officials say the mask should be home-made (over the nose and mouth) since hospital-grade masks (N95s) should be reserved for health care workers due to the shortage.

“Many people wear masks thinking it will protect them from a virus and in certain cases it may,” said Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin. “That may also be true for COVID-19 especially if accompanied by good hand hygiene and social distancing, but now there may be a better reason to wear a mask:  It will decrease the chance of you spreading it to someone else if you have the infection asymptomatically.”

The Los Angeles Times reported (April 16) that use of masks vary by county and city:

  • Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles: Issue face-covering orders;

(Note:  Barbara Ferrer, Director L.A. County Department of Public Health stated that wearing face coverings protects other people from your germs in case you’re infected and don’t realize it);

  • City of Carson, Lancaster, Long Beach and Pasadena: Issue similar face-covering orders;
  • Beverly Hills and Glendale (have adopted the strictest face-covering orders);

(Note:  Both these cities require face coverings whenever people leave home, including for walks through the neighborhood—with the only exceptions being drivers traveling alone or with members of their households if they do not lower their vehicle’s windows for any reason);

  • San Bernardino and Riverside County: Face coverings for essential tasks;

(Note:  Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said his department would not set up “any type of police state” by stopping vehicles or setting up checkpoints for motorists);

  • Orange County: Strongly encouraging residents to wear face covering when leaving home.

(Note:  Costa Mesa has ordered mandatory face coverings when visitors are outside their home or in a personal vehicle while performing or accessing an essential service.);

  • San Diego County: Requires employees who may have contact with the public to wear a cloth face covering, on public transit, and for childcare providers while serving food;
  • San Francisco Bay Area Counties (including San Francisco, Alameda Cntra Costa, San Mateo and Marin): Require face coverings for people when they are outside their homes to access essential business, while seeking healthcare service, while waiting for and riding public transits.

(Note:  Masks aren’t required for children 12 or younger.  They also aren’t required in car alone or with members of the same household or while walking, hiking, cycling or running outdoors, although people are asked to have one readily accessible.)

  • Sonoma County: Requiring people to wear face coverings before entering any indoor facility outside their home; in any enclosed open space; while using public transportation; and in outdoor areas when people are unable to keep six feet away.
  • Santa Clara County: urging people to wear face masks in public. 

(Editor’s Note:  To read the Los Angeles Times story on wearing face coverings go to:  https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-16/l-a-county-now-requires-residents-to-wear-face-coverings-here-are-the-details.)

Tips:  Making home-made face coverings for COVID-19 protection

 VENTURA COUNTY—The Ventura County Public Health Department is offering tips on making home-made face coverings:

Ventura County Public Health officials say the masks should be homemade and cover the nose and mouth explaining that, at this time, hospital-grade masks (N-95 masks) should be reserved for health care workers due to the shortage.

If you are interested in sewing your own masks, video instructions can be found through The Camarillo Sewing Brigade with additional instructions found here. A free pattern can also be found here.  Otherwise, masks can take the form of bandanas, scarves or any other loose fabric that can be tied around the nose and mouth.  If you have trouble opening up the above links see Editor’s Note below.

(Editor’s Note:  The City of Glendale has directions on how to make a face covering on their website:  https://www.glendaleca.gov/government/coronavirus/face-coverings.  A 16-minute video posted by The Camarillo Sewing Brigade making a face covering:

 https://drive.google.com/file/d/17AJmbNnQJouKmpH4UgW-4AJXecKII2Yh/view

To read 15 steps to make a mask:    https://www.instructables.com/id/AB-Mask-for-a-Nurse-by-a-Nurse/.  To have a link for a face-covering sewing pattern go to:  http://blog.fabricworm.com/2020/03/fabric-face-mask-sewing-pattern.html.)


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