Face Coverings

October 19, 2020 Update:
Oregon Health Authority announced revisions to the statewide guidance on face coverings. This includes new provisions about workplaces, markets and events, some educational facilities, as well as information about face shields. In particular, the guidance now requires that people wear face coverings in all private and public workplaces including classrooms, offices, meeting rooms and workspaces, unless someone is alone in an office or in a private workspace.

Face coverings that don’t let out respiratory droplets provide the best protection against coronavirus. That’s why the CDC does not recommend plastic face shields or masks with vents. There are exceptions for people who need to read lips and people who need to communicate with them. To learn more, visit the CDC's website. OHA's updated guidance recommends against the use of face shields on their own.

Wear these face coverings

How do face coverings help? Studies show some people with COVID-19 don’t show symptoms and others may transmit the virus before they show symptoms. Simple cloth face coverings can help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children under age two. It is very important that you never put a mask or face covering on an infant (or an adult) who is not able to adjust or remove the face covering themselves. This could compromise their ability to breathe.

How to use a cloth face covering: When wearing a cloth face covering, make sure:

  • To clean your hands before putting it on, and after touching it or taking it off.
  • To use the ties or ear loops to put it on and take it off.
  • Your mouth and nose are fully covered.
  • It fits snugly against the sides of the face, with no gaps. The tighter the weave and the thicker the cloth, the better it will fit your face and provide protection.
  • You don’t have any difficulty breathing.

Wash after every use with soap and warm water. Face coverings might be itchy. Be careful when adjusting it and avoid reaching under it to touch your nose or mouth.

Important information for employers: According to Governor Brown, employers are required to provide face coverings for their employees. Washington County has collected information on a number of businesses that make and sell cloth face coverings. Washington County has not vetted the availability or qualification of any of the vendors listed. Washington County is not endorsing the use or consideration of any of these vendors. All businesses should perform their own research. Find our list here.

Organizations may be eligible to receive PPE and non-medical supplies from the Emergency Operations Center. More information here.

Violence and discrimination are a daily experience for communities of color. Racism and racist reactions to Black, Indigenous and people of color wearing face coverings is a reality. And yet we know face coverings can help people stay healthy and save lives during this pandemic. Washington County does not tolerate discrimination or violence toward individuals because of their race, ethnicity or identity.