Yolo County to require face coverings, masks in public beginning tomorrow

Yolo County to require face coverings, masks in public beginning tomorrow

Photo Credits: SHEREEN LEE / AGGIE FILE

Shelter-in-place to be extended past May 1

Yolo County is requiring all citizens to wear face coverings in public to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19 between individuals. The order is part of a broader “Roadmap to Recovery” plan for reopening Yolo County businesses while continuing to protect public health amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Effective tomorrow, April 27, all Yolo County residents will be required to wear some form of face covering while shopping in grocery stores, picking up food at a restaurant or going to see a healthcare provider. Though the covering does not need to be a medical-grade mask, it must cover, “only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face,” according to the health order. Some examples include a scarf, handkerchief or even a modified t-shirt. 

Yolo County Health Officer Ron Chapman called, in a press release, on essential businesses to help enforce the face-covering mandate.

“Individual violators are unlikely to be cited however essential businesses and other enterprises will be expected to enforce this order,” the press release states. “Everyone has an opportunity to contribute to public health and the welfare of our community by following this health order. Individuals that choose not to wear face coverings may encounter difficulties such as being refused access to public transit and essential businesses.”

Some exceptions to the mandate include those who are in their own car, children under two and residents who are unable to wear coverings due to medical reasons documented by a doctor’s note. Residents do not need to wear a face mask while exercising in public, but they are required to follow social distancing protocol by staying six feet apart and are encouraged to have a face covering readily available.

While requiring new restrictions in public, Yolo County is also offering more flexibility with regards to outdoor activities. Residents can now golf, fish and hunt, “as long all activities adhere to social distancing, face covering guidance (if applicable), and good hygiene practices,” according to the press release.

The broader “Roadmap to Recovery” is going to be reviewed by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 28. The board is expected to adjust and refine the document. In the press release, however, county officials emphasized that the final draft is aimed at being flexible and responding to new developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The draft document is meant to be a living document which means that it will evolve over time in response to new information, data and feedback,” the press release states. “Yolo County will be utilizing guiding principles, key indicators, and continuous evaluation to help guide decision-making in the foreseeable future.”

Officials added that the county’s shelter-in-place order will be extended past the current May 1 timeframe, though it has not been announced how much additional time will be added. 

Written by: Madeleine Payne — city@theaggie.org