City of Berkeley health officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez issued an executive order Friday requiring both customers and employees of essential businesses and activities to wear face coverings.
The order went into effect immediately, but enforcement will not begin until April 22, according to a city press release. It does not have an end date, and similar orders have been issued by neighboring counties and Alameda County itself.
“As of today, Berkeley residents have been under a stay at home order for one month,” Hernandez said in the press release. “I know how hard it is to see our daily lives disrupted, to not be able to enjoy favorite activities, and to be separated from friends and family.”
The order does not apply to those exercising outdoors, to those who have trouble breathing or difficulty removing a mask on their own, to those who have been advised by medical professionals to avoid masks and to whose for whom masks can become a safety hazard during work activities.
Hernandez advises against putting masks on children under the age of 2 and said masks are optional for children ages 3-12.
The order specifies that masks should be made of cloth or fabric and that residents should avoid using N95 masks and surgical masks, as those are needed for health care centers.
“Data shows that our collective action is working,” Hernandez said in the press release. “The formula for keeping our community safe is simple. Stay home. Cover your face. Wash your hands. Keep your distance.”
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