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COVID-19 Status Update for 05/11/2021

Marin County COVID-19 Status Update for May 11 includes updated local COVID-19 data and Marin Public Health’s work to provide COVID-vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness with a safe place to… Read More

Masks and face coverings


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Always carry a mask with you

Fully vaccinated people can now unmask outdoors in certain situations. But always carry a mask with you.

COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. It spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. 

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Studies and evidence on infection control report that these droplets usually travel around 6 feet (about two arms lengths). 

Simple cloth face coverings can slow the spread of the virus by lowering the risk that an undiagnosed carrier will transmit it to others. 

My mask protects you, your mask protects me.


Where masks are required

You should always have a face covering with you, even if you are vaccinated. 

You will not be allowed to go into a business, public building, or on public transportation if you are not wearing a face covering. 

Wear your mask when you are:

  • Seated at an outdoor dining area and whenever you leave your table, including when staff approach you (you can take off your mask when actively eating and drinking)
  • Going into buildings open to the public, like laundromats, banks, and government buildings
  • Shopping at a store
  • Working out at a gym
  • On public transportation (or waiting for it)
  • Driving or riding in a taxi or rideshare vehicle (even by yourself)
  • Working a job where you interact with others
  • Working in a space other people might use later, even if you’re alone (including cubicles, shared desks, and conference rooms)
  • Handling, preparing, or packaging food or other items for anyone you do not live with
  • Going into someone else’s home for work


Outdoors and vaccinated

If you are fully vaccinated you are not required to wear a mask when:

  • You are exercising outdoors alone or with members of your household
  • You are with small groups of fully vaccinated friends
  • You are with 1 unvaccinated household who is at low risk of getting COVID-19
  • You are dining outdoors

You are fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your final dose.

People who are not vaccinated, or who are at high risk of getting COVID-19, should still wear a mask outdoors in most situations.

Safer activities

If you are fully vaccinated you can start doing many things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. 

face mask inforgraphic

Safer activities guide:



Where masks are not required

Face coverings are not required:

  • At home alone or with people you live with
  • Working alone in your own private office with the door closed (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
  • When eating or drinking alone or with people you live with, and nobody else is within 6 feet
  • Exercising outdoors alone or with people you live with, and no one else is within 6 feet

If you or someone at home is sick, use a face covering to reduce exposure. If you live with someone at higher risk from COVID-19, everyone at home should wear a face covering when around others, if possible.


Wear your mask correctly

  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily

how to wear a mask correctly


Keep your mask clean

If you’re outside your home and your face covering gets wet, have another face covering ready to replace it.

Face coverings should be washed frequently. Ideally, wash them after each use in the warmest water possible and dry on the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.

Clean your hands before and after touching your face, or face coverings.

The CDC has instructions on how to wear and clean your face covering.


Do not use masks with valves

A face covering can be made of cloth, fabric, or other breathable material, but it should not have holes. 

Masks that have a one-way valve designed for easier breathing (often a raised plastic disk about the size of a quarter, on the front or side of the mask) are not allowed.

Holes or one-way valves allow droplets out of the mask, exposing people nearby. If you wear one, you should wear another face covering on top that doesn’t have valves.


Signs and posters

Businesses should post “mask required” signs at the entrances of a business and in employee break areas.