Submitted by San Juan County
Supported by the San Juan County Council, the Board of Health, and the Department of Health and Community Services, San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James issued a Health Officer order over the weekend regarding the public use of face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19 illness.
A Frequently Asked Questions addressing all aspects of the order, including a link to the original document is here is online at https://www.sanjuanco.com/DocumentCenter/View/20393/200518-Health-Office-Order-4-FAQ.
The order is intended to ensure that all individuals at public indoor settings wear face coverings over their nose and mouth. The order went into effect on May 16, 2020, and will become mandatory for people inside businesses when San Juan County moves to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase plan for reopening.
Wearing a face covering can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others by blocking infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection breathes, or coughs, sneezes and speaks. Individuals can be infected and contagious before or even without developing symptoms. Evidence suggests a significant number of infections may be transmitted in this way.
Because face masks such as N95 respirators continue to be reserved for health care workers, residents should use fabric coverings such as cloth masks, scarves or bandanas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides tips on how to make your own cloth face covering.
The order applies to patrons of all public businesses and other public indoor spaces. This order does not require employees of businesses to cover their faces as those requirements are established by the Governor.
The order will be in effect until it is no longer needed and rescinded by Dr. James.
The County has produced signage that local businesses can use to inform customers about the requirements to cover our faces before entering. These posters are available at www.sjccovid.com/faceposters. Once San Juan County enters Phase 2, businesses and other indoor public spaces have 48 hours to post signage alerting the public to the requirement.