Face coverings required at L.A. County businesses starting Thursday

Los Angeles County businesses that are permitted to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic will be required to provide employees with cloth face coverings, and customers who patronize the businesses must also wear them.

The mandate goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. 

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Under the guidelines that were announced Friday, “essential” businesses must also publicly post a "social distancing protocol" explaining how the business is assuring that social distancing requirements are being met, regular cleaning is being done and sanitizing equipment is being made available.

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The order from the county health officer requires businesses to provide "cloth face coverings to employees and contracted workers whose duties require close contact -- within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more -- with other employees and/or the public."

Businesses must also require "that members of the public who enter the facility wear a face covering during their time in the facility."

The city of Los Angeles and some other municipalities had previously issued orders requiring customers and employees of grocery stores and take-out restaurants to wear face coverings.

The social-distancing requirements of the updated county order requires that -- as part of "social distancing" -- residents wear "a cloth face covering while out in public when in contact with others, not including members of a single household or living unit."

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The Department of Public Health's guidance on face coverings asks that people wear a covering over their nose and mouth "when you must be in public for essential activities, such as shopping at the grocery store." It also states, ``Everyone is asked to wear a face covering when they are interacting with others who are not members of their household in public and private spaces."

Health officials noted that wearing a face covering does not eliminate the need to maintain a six-foot buffer from others.

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