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Burbank mandates face masks as protection against the coronavirus

A person wears a mask and gloves while waiting in line at Costco in mid-March. Beginning on Friday, employees and customers at essential businesses such as at the warehouse club will be required to wear masks covering their nose and mouth.
A person wears a mask and gloves while waiting in line at Costco in mid-March. Beginning on Friday, employees and customers at essential businesses such as at the warehouse club will be required to wear masks covering their nose and mouth.
(Raul Roa/Burbank Leader)

Starting on Friday, anyone who works at or patronizes an essential business within Burbank will have to don a face covering that protects the nose and mouth.

It’s meant to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus as well as protect employees and customers at businesses that have remained open during the pandemic including grocery stores, laundromats, gas stations and banks.

Starting on Friday, April 10, all essential businesses in Burbank must require employees and customers to wear masks that cover a person’s nose and mouth as protection against the coronavirus.

The newly issued mandate is scheduled to remain in place until Los Angeles County’s Safer at Home Order expires. The county’s order is currently set until April 19 but can be extended.

Burbank’s efforts follow similar ones enacted by other municipalities across California that have asked residents to wear masks when going out. Riverside County issued an order for face coverings last Saturday, while the city of L.A. announced its mandate on Tuesday, with Mayor Eric Garcetti calling on Angelenos to “cover up, save a life.”

Simone McFarland, a Burbank spokeswoman, said in a statement that businesses must pay for and provide face coverings for their employees.

“The face coverings should not be medical-grade masks or N95 respirators, but should be fabric coverings, such as scarves and bandanna coverings or single-use face-coverings,” she said.

Reusable face coverings must be washed after each wearing, according to McFarland.

Customers who do not wear a face covering may be denied entry into a business, and anyone found violating the order may be charged with a misdemeanor.

With face coverings in short supply across the country, the Centers for Disease Control has provided guidelines that can be found online on how to make masks at home, both through sewing and non-sewing methods.

Burbank has also issued a call for volunteers to help sew homemade coverings that the city will collect, sanitize and distribute to those in need of protection such as essential workers and senior citizens.

The DIY coverings can be dropped off at the Burbank Recycle Center, 500 S. Flower St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

Masks will be accepted until April 30, and the center can be contacted at (818) 238-3900 for more information.

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