Riverside County Health Officials Recommend Widespread Face Mask Use Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Riverside County health officials are now recommending residents cover their nose and mouth when leaving their homes for essential travel during the coronavirus outbreak.

According to a press release sent Tuesday, the face coverings do not have to be medical grade. Bandanas and fabric masks are acceptable alternatives.

While the county had previously not endorsed widespread face covering, the circumstances have changed, said Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer.

“When the situation changes, the rulebook changes,” Kaiser said. “We’re seeing our numbers increasing even sooner than we predicted and that means our strategy must change too. Covering your face doesn’t change the orders everyone must abide by to stay home as much as possible and maintain social distancing, but it’s an extra layer of protection that I think we need to add.”