Workers and customers in Pasadena will now be required to wear protective face coverings to prevent the spread of coronavirus, health officials said Saturday.
The order from the city’s Public Health Department requires workers at essential businesses and their customers to wear masks over their noses and mouths by midnight Wednesday.
Pasadena joins other municipalities in Southern California that have required the extra precaution in the workplace, a step public health officials say can prevent the disease from spreading, especially among people who are asymptomatic or unaware they are infected. A similar order went into effect in Los Angeles on Friday.
City officials urged residents not to use medical-grade masks to comply with the order, but rather to use scarves, bandanas or other fabric masks. They said reusable coverings should be washed daily and that single-use coverings should be thrown away after use.
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In an area of L.A. with large Asian and Latino populations, reactions to the outbreak are varied.
The new requirement won’t apply to residents jogging or walking alone in their neighborhoods, but is intended to prevent the spread of the virus at businesses, said Lisa Derderian, a city spokeswoman.
Ying-Ying Goh, the city’s public health officer, said the mask order doesn’t replace the need for physical distancing and frequent hand washing as additional precautions.
“When you do need to venture out for groceries or other essentials, wearing a face covering can help reduce community spread of COVID-19,” she said.
Residents or businesses can be fined for violating the order, Derderian said.