COVID-19 can easily spread between people who are in close contact with one another. Wearing a mask is an important tool in our fight against COVID-19. A high-quality mask along with vaccination, testing, and physical distancing helps protect you and others by reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19.
Presently, there is no local masking mandate in Sonoma County, however California masking guidelines remain in effect.
Know your COVID-19 hospital admission level
To view county COVID-19 hospital admission levels, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 by County and use the COVID-19 County Check for the most up-to-date information. Here are the masking recommendations based on COVID-19 hospital admission levels:
At LOW admission levels:
- Those that are at high risk of getting very sick should consult with their health care about wearing a mask.
When the COVID-19 hospital admission level is MEDIUM:
- If you are at high risk of getting very sick, the CDC recommends you wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) when indoors in public.
When the COVID-19 hospital admission level is HIGH:
- Everyone should wear a high-quality mask or respirator.
If you are at high risk of getting very sick, the CDC recommends you wear a high-quality mask or respirator (e.g., N95) when indoors in public. You should also consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed.
Remember, people with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask regardless of the COVID-19 hospital admission levels.
Masking best practices
- Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, runny nose, and/or sore throat).
- Wear a mask if you have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Wear a mask if you had a close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
An effective mask has both good fit and good filtration
Good fit and good filtration improve protection of others if you are infected AND protection for you if you are exposed to an infected person. An N95 is best, a KN95 or KF94 is better, a surgical mask is good, while a cloth mask is considered fair:
Wear your mask correctly
- Cover your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
- Make sure it fits snugly on the sides of your face and the bridge of your nose.
Masks in the workplace
For masking in the workplace, employers and employees can review Cal/Osha’s COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations as well as Cal Osha’s COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations FAQs.
Remember, it is illegal for employers to retaliate against any worker for using face coverings.
More resources from CDPH
- Face Coverings Questions & Answers
- Get the Most out of Masking
- Masks for Kids: Tips & Resources
- COVID-19 Guidance for Childcare Providers and Programs
Wildfire Smoke Masking Guidance
Wildfire smoke can be a hazard for workers even when they are not close to a fire. The smoke contains very fine particles in the air. For information on masking during poor air quality events, please see CalOSHA’s guidance.