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SF Expands Face Mask Rules to Address COVID-19 Surge

Everyone over age 9 must wear face coverings when anyone is within 6 feet or might be in the indoor space later.
By - posted 7/24/2020 No Comment

Effective July 24, 2020, the City of San Francisco has issued new face covering rules to address the recent rise of infections and hospitalizations in SF.

Failure to comply with any of the provisions of the public health order, “constitutes an imminent threat and immediate menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

However, we are not aware of any specific fines or punishments put in place as of July 24, 2020.

You must wear a face covering in more situations:

Within 6 feet of people you don’t live with, even outside

The new rules include wearing a face covering in cases like:

  • Passing people on the sidewalk
  • Passing people on a hiking trail or outdoor area

When indoors, if others might use the space later, even if you’re alone

The new rules include wearing a face covering:

  • In a common area (elevator, laundry room, break rooms, lobbies, hallways, bathrooms)
  • Working in a cubicle or conference room
  • Working at a desk you share with another person on different days
  • Working around shared equipment

Older children must wear face coverings if they can

  • Children under 2 should still not wear a face covering. They might suffocate.
  • Children 2 to 9 years old should try to wear a face covering. You are still allowed to get essential services if your child in this age group cannot wear a face covering. Encourage them to cover their face, so you can protect others in our community.
  • Children over age 9 must wear a face covering, like adults do.

If you can’t wear a medical or fabric mask, try other options

You are still required to wear something over your nose and mouth to block droplets. You can use a:

  • Bandana
  • Gaiter
  • Face shield (including with drapes on the bottom edge)

If you will create a safety hazard at work (under established health and safety guidelines) by wearing anything on your face, you do not have to wear it.

If you have documentation showing a medical professional has told you not to wear a face covering of any kind, you do not have to wear one. The document does not need to explain your medical condition.

See the updated guidelines

When a face covering is not needed

Face coverings are not required when:

  • At home (if you are not around someone at higher risk from COVID-19)
  • Working alone in your own private office (as long as you can put on a face covering quickly if someone enters)
  • In your car alone or if you’re only with people you live with
  • Sitting or standing outside alone or with people you live with (such as picnicking outside) and you are more than 6 feet from others
  • When eating or drinking alone or with people you live with, and nobody else is within 6 feet
  • Exercising outdoors alone or with people who live with you (walking, hiking, bicycling, or running) and no one else is within 6 feet

You should still have a face covering with you. It should be visible and readily accessible when you’re exercising, like hanging around your neck. There might be times where you cannot avoid being around other people.

You should put on your face covering if you see someone within 30 feet of you (about the length of a Muni bus). That way, both of you will have enough time to put on your face coverings if you get close to each other.

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