Face Coverings for Essential Workers & Public
Governor’s Executive Order: Face Coverings for Essential Workers
April 15, 2020: Mandatory Face Coverings for All Essential Workers
In response to the new information that face coverings will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order that applies to all essential businesses in an effort to protect the health of essential workers and the public. All employees in the workplace must wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide the face coverings for their employees effective Wednesday, April 15 at 8 PM. This will be enforced by local governments as part of Public Health Law.
Note, if any essential employee has their own face covering that meets the CDC guidelines (see description below), then the employer may allow the employee to wear it. However, for any employees who do not have a face covering, the business must provide it for them to wear.
We are asking that management enforces the use of face coverings among both staff and patrons. Please post signage and allow patrons to enter only when they have proper face coverings.
For more information on the Executive Order: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20216-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
Governor’s Executive Order: Face Coverings for Community Members
April 17, 2020: Mandatory Face Coverings for All Community Members
Under the Executive Order by Governor Cuomo, all community members – who are over the age of 2 and can medically tolerate a face covering – are required to cover their nose and mouth with a cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain social distance. Individuals, who are currently in isolation or quarantine, should use a face mask while interacting with other household members or their caregiver. This goes into effect on Friday, April 17 at 8 PM.
For more information on the Executive Order: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20217-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency
CDC Guidance: Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
The CDC has found that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus (COVID-19) do not experience symptoms and that even those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
In accordance, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
IMPORTANT: The general public should NOT use surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
What is a cloth face covering?
A cloth face covering is a material that covers the nose and mouth. It can be secured to the head with ties or straps or simply wrapped around the lower face. It may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, t-shirts, or towels.
Face coverings should:
- Cover both the nose and mouth during use
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
- Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Who should wear cloth face coverings?
All employees of essential businesses must wear cloth face coverings to protect the health of coworkers and the public. This includes but is not limited to the following: grocery stores, pharmacy/drug stores, convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants and other establishments that serve food.
Community members are required to cover their nose and mouth with a cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain social distance. Everyone should continue to practice social distancing – avoid all unnecessary trips to public places, including social gatherings with anyone outside your household. Individuals, who are currently in isolation or quarantine, should use a face mask while interacting with other household members or their caregiver.
IMPORTANT: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
How to safely remove cloth face coverings?
When removing your face covering, be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands immediately after removing.
Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly?
Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly, depending on the frequency of use. A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.
If you must re-wear your cloth face covering before washing, wash your hands immediately after putting it back on. Avoid touching your face during use.
Discard cloth face coverings that:
- No longer cover the nose and mouth
- Have stretched out or damaged ties or straps
- Cannot stay on the face
- Have holes or tears in the fabric
Where can I get a face covering?
Madison County does not have the ability to provide every resident with a face covering. Our limited supply of surgical and N95 masks are distributed to health department staff, who have direct patient contact, first responders, and health care providers. We are asking that our residents be resourceful by making their own cloth face coverings. Residents can also make cloth face coverings that can be donated or sold to others in our community.
Instructions on "Do It Yourself" Cloth Face Coverings:
Video of “How to Make Your own Face Covering”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPx1yqvJgf4
ASL Video of "How to Make Your own Face Covering":
Information about the CDC Recommendation: