Mandatory Facial Covering Order To Go Into Effect Throughout San Diego Starting This Weekend

April 2, 2020

After discouraging the general public for the past couple weeks from wearing masks unless they are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus, San Diego County officials today announced an order that starting this Saturday all employees at essential businesses must wear facial coverings, with the general public strongly encouraged to do the same.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher announced this afternoon new orders requiring mandatory social distancing and physical distancing protocols to be implemented at any and all essential businesses. Furthermore, all employees of essential businesses -  pharmacies, food services (grocery stores, convenience stores, take-out, and delivery restaurants), and gas stations - must wear facial coverings, not medical masks which should be donated to first responders in needs. Residents were also encouraged to wear cloth masks when venturing outside their homes, but were warned to continue social-distancing and only touch masks with washed hands.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering altering the official guidance to encourage people to take measures to cover their faces amid the coronavirus pandemic. The anonymous official who leaked the information to the publication stated the new guidance would make clear that the general public should not use medical masks, including the highly sought surgical and N95 masks - which are in short supply across the globe and needed by healthcare workers. The Trump administration is also expected to urge all Americans to wear cloth masks in public, based on a forthcoming shift in CDC guidance.

Leading scientists have acknowledged that an improvised mask, including something akin to a bandanna or even a cloth mask, does not necessarily provide added protection from contracting the coronavirus, but it could limit the amount of respiratory droplets emitted by the person wearing the mask. Epidemiologists believe that infected people can spread COVID-19 even when they are asymptomatic, so having everyone wear a mask could help limit transmission of the virus. According to the California Department of Public Health, an adequate cloth facial covering should cover the nose and mouth, can be made of a variety of materials at home or factory-made, and can be secured to the head with ties, straps or wrapped around the face.

Additional measures announced at today's daily meeting include an announcement that all public parks and recreational areas must close their parking lots and only accessible to members of the public living within walking distance of the facilities. Individual townships may choose to keep their public areas open only if they ensure monitoring and post physical distancing plans. Activities will be restricted to passive recreation, like hiking, running, and walking. No group sports or the like will be permitted. These orders begin this Saturday, April 4, at midnight. It was also indicated that police and sheriffs officers would begin ticketing those not following stay-at-home orders soon, if not already.

There are currently 966 total positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus now in San Diego, with it announced that by tomorrow there will be in excess of 1,000. For more information about San Diego County coronavirus precautions, visit and check out the full order below.
This is a developing story: We will update this post as we learn more.