To conform with an order by the Alameda County Health Department and effective immediately, you are required to wear a face cover when working in or walking through common areas of the Lab such as hallways, stairways, and elevators, and while in any room or enclosed area when other people are present. This includes cubicle areas where others are present. Exceptions to this order are if you are alone in a personal office or if you are alone in a vehicle.
Face covers are not personal protective equipment. The primary purpose of a face cover is to protect people around you if, for example, you are infected but do not have symptoms. The level of coverage provided by personal protective equipment (such as but not limited to N95 respirators) should be reserved for medical personnel and first responders who come in close contact with people carrying the virus. When wearing a face cover, you still need to keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and anyone else. and wash your hands frequently.
There are instructions on how to easily fashion a face cover out of a bandana on the Lab’s COVID-19 website. When handling a face cover, remember:
- Face covers should cover your nose, mouth, and chin.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, and nose while putting on or removing the face cover.
- Keep the face cover clean by routinely washing it in hot water and detergent.
- Remove and store the face cover in a bag before eating or drinking and before laundering. This will prevent the contamination of surfaces.
- Clean your hands before and after touching the face cover.