Beginning this Friday, everyone going out in public in Sonoma County will need to cover their faces. Our listeners in Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa and Sonoma will need to remember to grab a mask or cover before leaving the house. Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County Public Health Officer, announced in the county’s daily coronavirus briefing that the recommendation of wearing a mask has changed to mandatory for all county residents. Already, some businesses within Sonoma County have made masks a requirement before entering. Sonoma Market near my home was the first place I heard telling shoppers that a face cover would be required before entering the store. Now, this rule extends to all businesses and public spaces where keeping a distance of at least six feet may be difficult or inconsistent.
Sonoma County is the first Bay Area county to make covering your face in public the law. Dr. Mase announced that if you’re not wearing one, you could be fined or charged with a misdemeanor or both. I just happened to have a N95 mask leftover from the wildfires that made our air tough to breath a couple years ago but no need to find those industrial grade masks or hospital grade surgical masks. Dr. Mase explained “You can use a scarf, a bandanna, you can make your own mask from an old t-shirt or any kind of leftover fabric.” Here’s a chance to get creative while you cover your mouth and nose and protect yourself and the people around you.