SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – By the end of the week in Sonoma County​, face coverings will be required in public.​

The order was issued by the county health officer.​

This makes Sonoma the first Bay Area county to mandate the use of masks.​

Bandanas, scarves, t-shirts or towels.​ Sewn by hand or factory-made, whatever your preference, face coverings made with any fabric or cloth protecting the mouth and nose are being mandated in Sonoma County​.

“I would not want to give anyone a disease, so I think it’s a good idea,” Patricia Souza said. ​

The order issued by the county health officer goes into effect on Friday and will remain in place indefinitely.​

Regulars at the Petaluma East Side Farmers Market are already in the habit of covering their faces.​

“It benefits the vendors and farmers out here, that they’re healthy and able to continue doing what they’re doing. It helps keep the customers safe and healthy and everybody,” Karen Marks said. ​

The order does not apply when you’re driving alone in your car, or with somebody else in your household.​

You only have to put the mask on in your car if you have to roll your window down and speak with a food service worker, or a first responder or anybody else.​

It’s also recommended that you not purchase an N-95 respirator mask, instead, save those for health care workers and first responders.​

“It’s about keeping people safe, so it’s fine with me,” Adam Knaak said. ​

The order is comes during an extended shelter-in-place order because of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic.​

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suggested the public use face masks to help stop the spread of the virus.​

Sonoma County now taking it a step further requiring they be used before entering any indoor facility besides their own homes, any other enclosed space or while outdoors if you’re unable to keep six feet between yourself and the next closest person.​

“All the science that seems to indicate that some people don’t know they’re infected and they could be out and about. So, this they think is another way, another layer of safety. I’m willing to try it,” Souza said. ​

Businesses can also refuse to serve anyone not wearing face coverings.​

Failing to comply with the health order could result in a fine and possibly jail time.​

Latest Stories: