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From recommendation to requirement, San Mateo County to enforce face masks for the public, essential employees

Original post made on Apr 17, 2020

San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow is now explicitly requiring residents and essential employees to wear face coverings when out in the public starting this Wednesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 17, 2020, 7:31 PM

Comments (16)

14 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Apr 17, 2020 at 8:42 pm

Let’s use social pressure to force people in Palo Alto to wear masks. It’s doesn’t make sense that they are required in Menlo Park and not Palo Alto.


24 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto mother
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 17, 2020 at 10:54 pm

No we should not be forcing everybody in Palo Alto to wear masks. [Portion removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:09 pm

When going in stores, picking up take out food, etc. It may make sense. While walking in the street or a park where there is nobody within 10' and you are passing for just a couple of seconds, it does not make sense.

All these people standing in front of cameras, often several standing close to each other, in front of journalists, camera people, sound people, microphones, etc. they are not wearing masks. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx are never wearing masks when they are standing in front of people at press conferences.

Masks are not good for mental health. They give a feeling of distrust and claustrophobia. They probably get handled so much that they are probably spreading more germs than anything else.


13 people like this
Posted by S_mom
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:11 pm

Palo Alto seems to have very few cases with a small growth rate (so small it’s possibly offset by the recovery rate). I think Palo Altans have already been pretty careful and rule following, it would feel punitive to suddenly mandate face coverings (and I say this as someone who does wear a cloth mask for errands and any situation where I might interact with someone). A mandate seems unnecessary at this point.


24 people like this
Posted by Roger Dodger
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 18, 2020 at 11:51 am

@Palo Alto mother:

"Hysteria" is what we are seeing at the Statehouse in Ohio as recently shown in the New York Times (Web Link), with right-wing anti-shelter-in-place protestors clamoring at the doors like a horde of the walking dead, demanding liberty they already enjoy, and forsaking any notion of common sense or rational thinking.

The requirement to wear masks in public, however, is based on this really interesting thing called "science." If, as strongly suspected and evidenced in emerging data, there are a lot of people who have the virus and are asymptomatic, then wearing a mask is an important part of PROTECTING OTHER PEOPLE FROM INFECTION. It requires thinking on at least a community-level scale, if not societal. We need to work together to protect and care for each other. Wearing a mask in public, when you may come into contact with others, is one of the least things any of us can do at this point to try to mitigate the effects of this pandemic.

Remember, we are only at the beginning of this thing. It will cause devastation on a global scale, and it will most likely come back. We need reasoned, scientifically-based public policy to drive our decisions, not politics and "hunches."


3 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2020 at 1:41 pm

Where can we buy a mask?

We have tried to make some, but they aren't very good. It doesn't help that we are limited on the supplies to make them anyway.


10 people like this
Posted by Roger Dodger
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 18, 2020 at 3:00 pm

@Nayeli: here is a link to a simple tutorial. The idea is to just cover your mouth and nose, to reduce the possibility of spread. It doesn't need to be N95 or OSHA compliant - just something to reduce your aerosol output.

Web Link


12 people like this
Posted by Sally
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Apr 18, 2020 at 3:17 pm

Santa Clara County doesn’t care about its elderly and disabled residents at all! Palo Alto’s case rate is 1:1000 with NO testing thanks to the County’s incompetence. Now despite the highest death rate in Northern California. Santa Clara County’s Health Department is the only County in the Bay area Not to mandate face masks. Thanks County leadership and our failed County Supervisors. I am 70 with cancer- did my one hour walk, saw over 200 people- Not One had a mask. Time to recall our Supes.


16 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 4:52 pm

Some folks seem not to have read the text. The new SMC *requirement* is for people indoors in pubic spaces, e.g. stores. That makes sense. People have to shop, and, don't want other people coughing and wheezing on them. People working in stores shouldn't be subjected to people without masks coughing on them. The order seems pretty rational as written. SCC should do the same.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 18, 2020 at 10:19 pm

People are reading it, and reacting to these statements: "San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow is now EXPLICITLY REQUIRING residents and essential employees to wear face coverings when out in the public, taking a major step further from the county's April 2 announcement where masks were only a recommendation... Violators of the health order can be CHARGED WITH A MISDEMEANOR" [emphasis added]


10 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Posted by Resident, a resident of Ventura

>> People are reading it, and reacting to these statements:

Read it for yourselves right here: Web Link

For example, a Face Covering is required:

" When they are inside of, or in line to enter, any Essential Business (as that term is defined in Section 13.f of the Health Officer’s Order No. c19-5b, dated March 31, 2020 (“Order No. c19-5b”)), including, but not limited to, grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, laundromats, and restaurants; " [...]

" Wearing a Face Covering is recommended but not required while engaged in outdoor recreation such as walking, hiking, bicycling, or running. But each person engaged in such activity must comply with social distancing requirements [...]. "

As I said, please read it. It seems rational, and nuanced, to me.


4 people like this
Posted by Breath
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Here is an interesting article that can hopefully alleviate at least some concerns

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Los Altos
on Apr 20, 2020 at 12:16 pm

It's tough to engage in aerobic exercise outside while wearing an effective mask. Just wear something lighter over your mouth and nose like a loose scarf, and avoid areas where you encounter minimal numbers of people --- and then hold your breath and give them a wide berth when passing. Wash your clothing and take a shower when you get home --- and sterilize your shoes.


2 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2020 at 2:02 pm

To the lady says few cases
According to an article today there are 25 times morr actual infections, thus the 60 in PA reported by the county would more accurately be 1500 in PA.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2020 at 3:19 pm

Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park

>> According to an article today there are 25 times morr actual infections, thus the 60 in PA reported by the county would more accurately be 1500 in PA.

Link?


2 people like this
Posted by MarcusG
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2020 at 10:39 pm

Luckily they are easy to make, but make sure they have two layers. Recent studies also are finding what the best materials - woven materials that doesn't let the sun in. Web Link


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