Employee Resources

Important Information for Employees Regarding the Use of Face Coverings

Published:  April 5, 2020 at 6:31 PM

Hello County Family,

I hope this email finds you and loved one’s doing well. It is unusual to send a Sunday email, but as you know the COVID-19 emergency has been very fluid.  I wanted to let all County employees know that this afternoon the Public Health Officer Guidance on Face Coverings for General Public in All Age Groups was published. The Health Officer recommends that everyone who leaves their home for an essential activity wear a face covering to the extent possible, such as a fabric mask, scarf, bandana, or similar garment, while outside of their home.

Although ordinary face coverings have not been proven to protect the wearer, when worn by someone with COVID-19, they may reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others. Since not everyone with COVID-19 knows that they are sick, wearing a face covering helps make sure you are not unknowingly affecting others.

The County is working hard to procure fabric face coverings for employees performing essential function. In the meantime, below is some helpful information on how you can make a face covering at home.

What are effective face coverings?

There are several types that can be used to cover the nose and mouth, including fabric masks, scarves, bandanas, neck gaiters, homemade cloth coverings or similar garments. The covering should be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face and secured in some fashion. Surgical masks, unexpired N95 masks and other essential protective equipment is not recommended for everyday use. Hospital-grade medical masks such as N-95 or surgical masks purchase should be for health care workers in clinical settings.

What procedures should I follow to make sure my face covering is effective?

Cloth face coverings or homemade coverings should be:

  • Worn only by one person.
  • Fitted carefully to prevent frequent adjustment. Practice strict hand washing before and after touching and adjusting the face covering.
  • Washed frequently, ideally after each use, or at least daily.
  • If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing during the day, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on, and avoid touching your face.
  • Discarded if the covering no longer covers the nose and mouth, if it is stretched out or damaged and cannot stay on the face, or has holes or tears in the fabric.

How do I make a face covering at home?

Homemade face coverings can be made from a variety of materials, such as cotton, silk or linen. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts sweatshirts, or towels. 

We realize this is short notice for those of you who are scheduled to report to work tomorrow.  The County is diligently working on sourcing cloth facial coverings for all employees who must perform essential work and cannot telecommute.  However, this may take up to several days.  Please be as creative as possible in devising appropriate facial coverings in the meantime.    Watch U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams make a face covering

The Health Officer’s guidance is not intended to replace any greater protective measures your department may have put in place regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) which may include: N95 masks, surgical/procedure masks, gloves, goggles and body coverings depending on the tasks being performed.

I sincerely appreciate all that you are doing to continue to support our community during this difficult time.

Be well, 

Sheryl

Sheryl Bratton
County Administrator

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