COVID-19/Coronavirus Update

Covering Your Face

Published: 06/18/2020

Required: Cover Your Face

6/18/2020 - The State of California is requiring face coverings. When outside your home, maintain physical distancing and cover your face with a bandana, neck gaiter, or homemade cover.

In addition to physical distancing and covering your face, remember to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, clean and disinfect objects and spaces, and stay at home when possible.

The Riverside Marketplace has been established to connect vendors in our community and Riversiders. They are currently accepting vendors who are: making fabric face masks. Learn more: https://theriversidemarketplace.com/


Frequently Asked Questions

Why wear a face cover?

 When outside your home, maintain physical distancing and cover your face. Recent information has indicated that covering your face can slow the spread of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve. Read the CDC recommendation regarding the use of cloth face coverings, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

  • Individuals can be contagious several days before the onset of symptoms.You may be contagious and do not know it. If you have covered your face, it can limit COVID-19 from escaping and infecting others and surfaces.
  • We touch our face less when our face is covered. Touching your face after touching something contaminated with COVID-19 increases your chances of getting sick with COVID-19.
  • While scientists continue to research the effects of covering your face during a COVID-19 outbreak, Riverside Public Health believes that there is value in covering your face during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to this requirement, other international agencies have demonstrated covering your face does slow the spread of COVID-19.


What are my face covering options?

DO NOT USE N95 or surgical masks. These medical-grade masks must be reserved for those who are on the frontline as healthcare professionals, first responders, and other moderate to hig- risk essential service providers. Acceptable, reusable face covering options for the general public include:

  • Bandana
  • Neck gaiter
  • Homemade face covering
  • Scarf
  • Tightly woven fabric, such as cotton t-shirts and some types of towels
  • Individuals are encouraged to source face coverings from things they may already have in their homes.

*Remember to wash hands before and after touching your face covering. 


When should you cover your face?

Cover your face anytime you leave your home, including:

  • At work (identified essential businesses defined by California Governor’s Order)
  • When in a vehicle with another person
  • When working around other people
  • At the grocery store, bank, gas station, or running other essential tasks.
  • When around others when physical distancing is difficult or not possible.

* Remember that the type of mask worn at work varies for low, moderate, and high-risk essential service providers.


Why should I wear a mask now, when one was not needed before?

As the pandemic continues to progress rapidly, the direction and guidance will change. Individuals may be contagious and spread COVID-19 without their knowledge. A common mantra regarding covering your face is: Covering your face will protect me and covering my face will protect you.


Is a face cover required?

Yes, it is required by the State of California. Let's work togehter to slow the spread of COVID-19.


Is this effort going to take away resources from our first responders?

No, the public is encouraged to cover their face using options listed above. DO NOT USE N95 OR SURGICAL MASKS. These medical-grade masks must be reserved for our loved ones who are battling on the frontline as healthcare professionals, first responders, or other moderate to high risk essential service providers.


Keeping face coverings clean for reuse - how to clean and maintain cloth face coverings.

A benefit of cloth face coverings is that they can be reused, as long as they are properly cleaned after each use and stored separately (for example in a small plastic bag) until washing.

Whether you’re currently displaying symptoms or not, we recommend using the cleaning guidelines from the CDC on Cleaning Guidelines for Face Coverings & Masks. According to the CDC, “read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, using a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.”


How do I make a cloth face cover?

There are many resources on the internet that provide face cover (fabric masks) patterns. Below are a few options.