Plumas County Health Officer issues mandatory face mask order

Plumas County: Plan to wear a mask until 70 percent of the population is vaccinated or cases drop dramatically. That’s the message coming from Plumas County Public Health this morning as COVID case rates and hospitalizations surge. Following is this morning’s release.

Due to the highly -contagious Delta variant, Plumas County is currently experiencing a new surge of Covid-19 cases. The current rate is almost 20 times higher than it was during most of the spring and summer.

There are currently more active Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations in Plumas County than at any time since the beginning of this pandemic. According to Plumas County Public Health’s epidemiological monitoring, the nature of the outbreak has changed in recent weeks and there is now compelling evidence of local community spread.

Although vaccination remains the single best defense against the spread of Covid-19, it will take time to vaccinate enough of the population to stop the surge. With this in mind, Public Health Officer Dr Mark Satterfield joins other California counties and cities in issuing a Health Officer order to again require face coverings in indoor public places in Plumas County. Universal use of face masks indoors can help slow the spread of this disease while Public Health and our hospital and pharmacy partners continue with vaccination efforts.

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This Health Officer order is effective Aug. 30 at 12:01 a.m. and is expected to remain in effect until at least 70 percent of eligible Plumas County residents are vaccinated against Covid-19 or the average daily incidence of new Covid-19 cases is consistently below 3 per 100,000.

The Order directs that face coverings must be worn over the mouth and nose — regardless of vaccination status — in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and businesses, including but not limited to: retail stores, restaurants and bars, theaters, family entertainment centers, and government offices serving the public.

Individuals, businesses, venue operators, hosts, and others responsible for the operation of indoor public settings must:

Require all patrons to wear face coverings in all indoor settings, regardless of their vaccination status; and
Post clearly visible and easy-to-read signage at all entry points for indoor settings to communicate the masking requirements to all patrons.

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In addition, those responsible for indoor public settings are strongly encouraged to provide face coverings at no cost to individuals required to wear them.

Exemptions from face covering requirements. Individuals are not required to wear face coverings in the following circumstances:

  • When alone in an office or room;
  • When actively eating and/or drinking;
  • When swimming or showering or engaging in water-based sports
  • While actively engaged in other sports where masks create imminent risk to health (e,g wrestling, judo);
  • When obtaining a medical or cosmetic service for which temporary removal of the face

    covering is necessary to perform the service;

    Additional exemptions:

  • Persons younger than two years old must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation;
  • In a school setting, for medical, developmental or pedagogical reasons as outlined

    in CDPH guidance for K-12 education;

  • Other persons exempted according to CDPH guidance on the use of masks persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask; who are hearing impaired or communicating with a hearing-impaired person, or for whom wearing a mask would create a risk related to their work.

    The decision to mandate face masks indoor at public places was not made lightly. The benefit to our community of stopping this virus outweighs the short-term personal inconvenience of wearing a mask in public. The success of slowing the spread, therefore, lessening the impact to our local healthcare system, will depend on everyone’s willingness to follow the health officer’s mandate.

    Vaccines for COVID-19 are free and available at local hospitals in Quincy and Portola, pharmacies in Chester and Quincy, and from the Plumas County Public Health Agency. More information about how to get the vaccine can be found on the Plumas County Public Health Agency web site: https://www.plumascounty.us/2839/COVID-19-Home.

    For a copy of the Health Officer’s Order go to www.plumascounty.us or you can go to Plumas County Public Agency located at 270 County Hospital Road Suite 206, Quincy. If you have any questions you can call Plumas County COVID-19 informational line at 530-283-6400 or e-mail [email protected]