Masks and Face Coverings
Effective masking reduces your risk and protects others, especially the vulnerable
Current face mask restrictions
Please see the Active Health Officer Orders page for the most up to date information about current face mask restrictions in the City of Berkeley.
Guidelines for face masks
Wearing a face covering is not just about unknowingly spreading the virus. Because of COVID-19's genetic mutations, mask also to protect yourself.
Choosing a mask
Not all masks are created equal. Learn about the different types of masks and the level of protection they provide so you step up your masking game.
Best: An N95 (preferred), KN95 or KF94 masks best protect you and others.
Better: Double mask - use a surgical cloth layered with a cloth mask
Fair: A face mask with 3 or more cloth layers. A cloth mask alone is the least effective.
No matter which mask you are wearing, the mask should always be well-fitting so it is sealed and should be worn correctly: covering the entire mouth and nose.
See the California Department of Public Health's masking page for more detail about how to mask.
What not to use
- Masks with valves: Do not use masks that have a one-way valve designed for easier breathing (the valves are often a raised plastic disk about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask). These valves allow respiratory droplets out of the mask, which puts people nearby at risk.
Keep face masks clean
Clean your hands before and after touching your face masks.
If using a cloth mask as part of your face masking strategy, wash your face mask frequently. Ideally, wash them after each use and keep them in a dedicated laundry bag or bin.
Follow CDC instructions on washing cloth face masks by machine or by hand.
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