Face Coverings

Mask and Face Covering Guidance for Business, Transit and the Public (Posted May 15, 2020)


Studies show some people with COVID-19 don’t show symptoms and others may transmit the virus before they show symptoms. 

Simple cloth face coverings can help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings made from household items or common materials at low cost can be used as an additional public health measure. Bandanas, scarves and ski masks can be used. Having multiple or folded layers of fabric works best. Patterns to sew your own face coverings can be found online.

The general public should not be using N-95 respirators and medical masks. Those should be reserved for healthcare providers who are on the front lines working to protect us all. It is critically important that our healthcare workers have the equipment they need to do their jobs. If you have any medical-grade PPE to donate, we will gladly take them and distribute them.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under age two. It is very important that you never put a mask or face covering on an infant (or an adult) who is not able to adjust or remove the face covering themselves. This could compromise their ability to breathe.

To be effective, a face covering needs to be worn properly so as not to contaminate the hands or face. Fabric masks should be changed when moist and washed with warm water and detergent after each use. Masks do not work well if they are soiled or damaged.

Masks might be itchy. Be careful when adjusting it and avoid reaching under it to touch your nose or mouth. The virus can spread by unwashed hands.

Health Officer Dr. Baumann explains further and demonstrates how to put one on and take it off safely in this KOIN segment. "When I wear a face covering, I protect you," said Dr. Christina Baumann. "When you wear a face covering, you protect me."

EMPLOYERS: According to Governor Brown’s guidance, employers are required to provide face coverings for their employees. Washington County has collected information on a number of businesses that make and sell cloth face coverings. Washington County has not vetted the availability or qualification of any of the vendors listed. Washington County is not endorsing the use or consideration of any of these vendors. All businesses should perform their own research. Find our list here.


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