Masking Guidance

It’s Strongly Recommended You Wear A Mask:

  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
  • In any indoor public space
  • If you have a weakened immune system or live with someone who does
  • Live with someone who is not yet fully vaccinated

Wear a Mask:

  • Regardless of your vaccination status:
    • On public transportation including buses, taxis, ride-shares, etc.
    • In healthcare facilities including hospitals, doctor’s offices, and labs
    • In congregate spaces and shelters including correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and cooling centers
    • At your workplace if required by your employer
    • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

You DO NOT need a Mask if you:

  • Are working alone in a closed office or room
  • Are actively eating/drinking
  • Are swimming or showering in a fitness facility
  • Are obtaining a medical/cosmetic service involving the nose or face that requires you to remove your mask
  • Are specifically exempted from wearing face masks based on other CDPH guidance.
  • * DO NOT put a mask on a child two years or younger!

Some transit authorities/agencies may still require masks. Please check with the transit authority/agency for specific guidance prior to travel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All residents must follow CDPH Guidance for the Use of Masks.

Masks are still required in certain places and situations, such as those listed above. Follow CDPH guidance for locations were masks are still required for everyone.

Masks are still Strongly Recommended for all residents in indoor public settings and in K-12 school settings, and on public transportation.

Recent information has indicated that covering your nose and mouth can slow the spread of COVID-19 because:

  • Individuals can be contagious before the onset of symptoms. You may be contagious and do not know it. If you have covered your nose and mouth, it can limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • 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.

A mask’s primary role is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well. They can also provide some protection against exposure for the person wearing the mask. A CDC study has shown that a face mask can block over 50% of the particles from a cough. When both people are wearing a well-fitting mask, exposure to infectious particles can be reduced by about 96%.

Yes. Wearing a mask does not replace practicing other safe behaviors, such as washing your hands. Wearing a mask works together with other safe behaviors to increase protection for yourself and those around you.

Masks should completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Do not lower or remove the mask while talking; doing may allow infectious droplets to escape and defeats the purpose of wearing a mask.

Children under the age of 2 (including infants) should not wear masks. Those between the ages of 2 and 8 should use them but under adult supervision to ensure that the child can breathe safely and avoid choking or suffocation. Children with breathing problems should not wear a mask.

CDC recommends using a surgical mask or a mask that has better filtration such as a N95, KN95, or KF94.

Avoid masks with:

  • Exhalation valves or vents
  • Only one layer
  • Made of mesh-like fabric or fabric that doesn’t block light

It’s a good idea to wash your mask frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily. Have a bag or bin to store masks until they can be laundered with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle. If you must re-wear your mask before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on and avoid touching your face. Discard masks that:

  • No longer cover the nose and mouth
  • Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
  • Cannot stay on the face
  • Have holes or tears in the fabric

Persons exempted from wearing a mask due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, if their condition permits it.

Helpful Links

Additional Coronavirus Information

Contact Us:
For Public Information: (209) 558-7535
For Hospital & Provider Information: (209) 558-5678

California Department of Public Health
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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