To further prevent the transmission of coronavirus, County of Orange Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick issued a recommendation on April 11th strongly encouraging all employees at essential businesses to wear a face covering while at work and all residents engaged in essential activities outside the home to do the same.
The recommendation is in line with guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health on April 1, and is intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by those who are asymptomatic.
"Residents can make their own face coverings at home from a variety of materials and should refrain from purchasing personal protective equipment that is critical and in short supply for our healthcare workers, such as N95 and surgical masks," said Dr. Quick.
A face covering is material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps, or simply wrapped around the lower face. Face coverings may be factory-made, as well as folded or sewn, and can be improvised using household items like scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts or towels.
"Face coverings are an additional tool that may help protect staff and patrons from COVID-19, but they are not a substitute for proven protective measures like frequent hand washing, keeping your hands away from your face, practicing social distancing and staying home," said Dr. Quick.
GENERAL PUBLIC GUIDANCE
- Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and stay home while you are ill. If you need to seek medical care, call your health care provider first so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
- Only visit the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person when you absolutely need to. This will limit your potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Bank online and order food, groceries, prescription drugs, etc. online or use curbside pickup.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when you have to go out in public.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others while in public.
- Use disinfecting wipes on frequently touched surfaces such as handles, knobs, touch pads, shopping carts, gas station pumps etc. (if available). Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay home if you're sick. If you are showing symptoms of illness and are already self-quarantining, try to avoid going outside until you are free of symptoms for 72 hours.
- If your symptoms get worse instead of better, call your doctor. People with mild symptoms do not need to be tested for COVID-19.
- If you're experiencing an emergency, call 911 or go to an emergency room.
- If you have questions, visit the CDPH Frequently Asked Questions Webpage: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.
- If you have any question related to COVID-19, call the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (833) 426-6411, which will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will be connected to resources including the Health Referral Line, public assistance benefits, the District Attorney’s scams and price gouging hotline, and the Economic and Business Recovery hotline.
- Visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/ for continuous COVID-19 updates and information from the OC Health Care Agency.
- Visit https://covinfo.egovoc.com/ for a directory of COVID-19 resources for employees, employers, residents and 211 social services.
- Text "OCCOVID19" to 888777 to receive COVID-related text messages from the County's Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES & BUSINESS GUIDANCE
- Employees should wear face coverings.
- Employers should encourage sneezing and coughing etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees.
- Employees should avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
- Employers should increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces workplace, such as workstations, counter tops and doorknobs.
- Employees should physically distance when they take breaks together. Stagger breaks and don’t congregate in the break room, and don’t share food or utensils.
- Employers and employees should practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
- Employees who are sick or have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should self-isolate until they have symptom improvement and fever is gone for at least 72 hours; self-isolation should be at least 7 days.
- For more information, visit the CDC's Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- For a list of all Essential Businesses, see the State's list of Essential Infrastructure Workers.