Coronavirus: Face coverings required for essential workers in Orange County after supervisors pass mandate

The mandate requires all employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacies, convenience stores and more wear facial coverings at work.
SANTA ANA (KABC) -- Orange County supervisors passed a mandate on Tuesday requiring face coverings for workers in grocery stores and food preparation businesses, a week after passing a resolution strongly recommending them.

The mandate requires that all employees who may have contact with the public in any grocery store, pharmacies, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants, food preparation and retail stores wear facial coverings at work.

The requirement goes into effect at midnight on Friday.

The supervisors did not approve the proposed closure of beaches and adjacent parks for the next two weeks.

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Two weeks ago, Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do moved to make face coverings mandatory for the food industry workers, but the motion died for lack of a second.

Last week, the supervisors passed a resolution amplifying a recommendation from Orange County's chief health officer, Dr. Nichole Quick "strongly encouraging'' face coverings for workers at essential businesses and for the public while in grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses that remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supervisor Doug Chaffee's resolution called on workers in drug and grocery stores to wear face coverings and wash their hands every 30 minutes or whenever necessary.

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Meanwhile, Irvine has mandated that retail store workers wear face coverings and to compel their customers to do so as well. Store managers in Irvine are required to maintain 6 feet of distance between patrons and workers. The ordinance remains in effect until May 8, but the City Council may consider extending it depending on the circumstances then, Irvine Mayor Christina Shea said.

Westminster's interim City Manager Sherry Johnson on Monday issued an order mandating face coverings at essential business with four or more employees and who come in contact with the public.

Costa Mesa officials have also issued an order requiring face coverings for essential businesses, and the City Council will consider ratifying it Tuesday night.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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