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Face coverings now optional, but still encouraged

Face coverings are no longer required – but still strongly recommended – in San Bernardino County as the result of new health order requested by the Board of Supervisors.

The new order repeals the April 23 omnibus health order that required face coverings as well as social distancing at essential businesses, and banned gatherings and short-term rentals.

Although no longer regulated by a county health order, gatherings and short-term rentals are still prohibited and social distancing at essential businesses are still required under the state’s “stay-at-home” order.

“The County strongly urges everyone to continue wearing face coverings in public to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and businesses may still require face coverings for customers and employees,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “But repealing the local health orders and deferring to the less-restrictive state orders will allow the County to reopen businesses more quickly as the governor continues to relax standards.”

Many types of businesses were allowed to reopen today under certain conditions. The Board of Supervisors on Thursday adopted a Readiness and Reopening Plan and made plans to seek the governor’s consent to open many other types of businesses next week. The board plans to discuss additional details on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. That meeting can be viewed on the CountyDirect Broadcast Network at

Information related to COVID-19 in San Bernardino County can be found at

Ahora las cubiertas de cara son opcionales, pero aún se recomiendan

Las cubiertas faciales ya no son requeridas, pero todavía se recomiendan con fuerza, en el condado de San Bernardino como resultado de una nueva orden de salud solicitada por la Junta de Supervisores.

La nueva orden (new order) deroga la orden de salud general del 23 de abril que requería coberturas faciales, así como distanciamiento social en negocios esenciales, y reuniones prohibidas y alquileres a corto plazo.

Aunque ya no están regulados por una orden de salud del condado, las reuniones y los alquileres a corto plazo siguen estando prohibidos y el distanciamiento social en los negocios esenciales todavía se requiere bajo la orden de “quedarse en casa” del estado.

El Condado urge enérgicamente a todos a seguir usando cubiertas faciales en público para frenar la propagación del virus COVID-19, y los negocios todavía pueden requerir coberturas faciales para clientes y empleados”, dijo el Presidente de la Junta de Supervisores, Curt Hagman. “Pero derogar las órdenes de salud locales y aplazar las órdenes estatales menos restrictivas permitirá al Condado reabrir los negocios más rápidamente a medida que el gobernador continúe relajando los estándares”.

Muchos tipos de negocios se han permitido reabrir hoy bajo ciertas condiciones.  La Junta de Supervisores adoptó el jueves un Plan de Preparación y Reapertura (Readiness and Reopening Plan) e hizo planes para buscar el consentimiento del gobernador para abrir muchos otros tipos de negocios la próxima semana. La junta tiene previsto discutir detalles adicionales el martes por la mañana a las 9 a.m. Esa reunión se puede ver en la difusión directa del condado en

Información relacionada con COVID-19 en el Condado de San Bernardino se puede encontrar en

102 thoughts on "Face coverings now optional, but still encouraged"

  1. Mike Apodaca says:

    Lifting the restriction sends the wrong message. Now about a quarter of the people I see in stores are not wearing masks. The county (which has been spared, so far) is just asking for the same troubles that have plagued other regions far less fortunate. Stop bowing to politics and do what is in the best interests of your citizens. The CDC has called on us to wear masks and social distance.

  2. Teri Heinssen says:

    It should also be noted that the Covid statistics include both both incarcerated inmate and nursing home populations-both of which have little to do with the rest of us. dh


    I’m Embarrass of San Bernardino so-called group Of officials. Even a two year old can figure out how unsafe making face mask not required Your just asking for trouble in this county. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I don’t want to go out and see people not wearing a mask. It shows they are as ignorant as our officials and don’t care about others. Hope you all get a backbone because your just asking for trouble.

    1. Alisha S. says:

      Well said, Heidi. Come on, Rutherford. YOU, at least, know better than this.

  4. Rosaria says:

    I applaud San Bernardino County on rescinding the mandatory mask rule. Now we can use our judgement and intelligence to determine when a mask is appropriate. If the next person is 20 feet away, I will forgo the mask. If going to the grocery, where we sometimes can hardly help but pass someone in the aisle, then I think a mask is appropriate. Personally, I think these bandanas and T-shirts we’ve been wearing are no better than coughing in our sleeve, which we were always supposed to do, even before the pandemic.

    The paper referenced in one comment, Liu, X. and Zhang, S. COVID-19: Face Masks and Human-to-Human Transmission, is anecdotal and reports on a single event in which an infected man with no face covering rode on a crowded bus for over two hours, resulting in numerous persons on the bus becoming infected. It is by no means proof that having the general public wear masks at all times when outside of their home is necessary to stop the virus.

  5. Maria says:

    And now because it is not required the number of cases went up, we had the highest number of cases yesterday. Smart move San Bernardino county. SMH

    1. KEITH N says:

      While it is my opinion that making face masks OPTIONAL greatly increases the chances of community spread of this virus, the virus incubation period is 14 days. That is the whole point of REQUIRING masks in public. Infected people are going out in public for 14 days before the know they are sick. Wouldn’t it be nice if they were all WEARING MASKS?!! At least hard surface contamination would be reduced.

      By about the middle of June, we will see what impact relaxing the requirements for going out in public will have. It concerns me greatly. The people protesting say that stay at home orders, mask requirements, and other measures put in place to protect all people are too inconvenient and such measures should be discontinued. Let’s see how inconvenient they think it is to have the virus when they get it.

  6. Jorge Airam Ortiz says:

    Not required, optional but extremely encouraged means people will stop doing it because they will believe that it will be the responsibility of others. YOU NEED TO CHANGE THIS BACK AND REINFORCE THIS ORDER.

  7. Yucaipa resident says:

    To all concerned folks who seem to be frustrated with the SBC board: Frequent hand-washing, wearing a properly-fitted N95 mask, and wearing a face shield will protect you from a person who is not wearing their face mask in public and who is less than 6 feet away from you. If you want to wear PPE all day, every day – then you have the right to do this.
    If you own a business and want to require that people wear PPE and even jump suits while they are in your place of business, go ahead. It is your choice. Likewise, if you are a business-owner and do not want to require people to wear masks, that is your choice too.
    The county, city, and state are not responsible for your health. They are not responsible for keeping you from getting SARS-COV-2 or any other infection. That is not their role. You are an adult. You are responsible for your own health and that of your family.

    1. Taylor says:

      Actually, the only job of the government is public safety, even in the most libertarian worldview, the government is doing the right thing by protecting it’s people. If masks are scientifically proven to work, it’s just plain stupid to not require them in public.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Obviously, SBC does NOT want to protect their citizens. How could you decide to make masks optional with all the asymptomatic people floating around without masks spreading their germs everywhere? Pretty stupid!!! In addition, it looks like new cases are rising each day. But you don’t care!!! I don’t feel even safe anymore going to the grocery store because all the irresponsible idiots don’t wear face masks and spread their germs/viruses. If you want to reopen up the county again, then make masks mandatory like in LA county. That’s the only way people will feel safe and stop the new COVID-19 cases each day. What good can come from not wearing masks in a pandemic?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Dear Anonymous
      There are new cases because there is more testing. Plain and simple. Not irresponsible of SBCO to make masks voluntary but highly recommended. At what point do you say it’s OK not to make masks
      mandatory? When there are no new cases for one day? Two days? A month? Two months? Sorry, it’s time to get back to “normal”. And I applaud SBCO for opening up malls, stores and restaurants. Mental health also has to taken into account. SBCO economic health has to be part of the equation also. It’s time to move forward.

  9. Taylor says:

    The current supervisors up for reelection are: Robert Lovingood, Dawn Rowe, and Josie Gonzales. We currently have the lowest testing rate in the state, continuously rising infection and death numbers, and absolutely no plan for when to reinstitute lock down measures. This is clear irresponsible behavior from these supervisors who no longer deserve our votes. Remember who willingly put you and your families in mortal danger. Vote out anyone who puts profit above people.

  10. KEITH N says:

    Face coverings now optional, but still encouraged


    The whole point of requiring face coverings is to prevent particulates from becoming airborne when a person so much as speaks, all the more so if they cough or sneeze. Any cloth covering will accomplish this CRITICAL objective.

    The absence of this requirement will greatly increases the likelihood of the contamination of hard surface areas of contact. COMMUNITY SPREAD of this virus will most certainly increase in the absence of required face coverings.

    Also, removing the face covering requirement forces others to obtain more sophisticated PROTECTIVE face masks which are, of course, very hard to come by. This puts all of those in close proximity to people NOT wearing face covering at much greater risk unless they are wearing a PROTECTIVE face mask.

  11. jeanne silberstein says:

    Severely disappointed with the County of San Bernardino caving to the minority of mask protestors. Masks protect the “other” people. I wear a mask to protect others and show respect. It makes me very uncomfortable to be around retail where certain individuals are not wearing masks. Even though some stores have signs up about wearing a mask they are not able to enforce it because of this county repeal of the protocol. Masks are not about freedom, no one is taking away the right to vote or press. Masks are a prevention method in a pandemic. If an individual has a medical condition preventing the wearing of a mask I can respect that, however, that is I would imagine a minority of people.

  12. The People says:

    How are we supposed to stay updated if the county makes face masks mandatory again? Tired of idiots coming into my place of work and making other customers uncomfortable or making a scene due to not wearing there mask. Nice, let’s put thousands of people at risk to appease a few idiots

  13. G says:

    I don’t understand why I can be amongst strangers, but not my own family because not from same household.

  14. Mike A says:

    “Strongly recommend” is such a lame statement from the county. Do your jobs. Either mandate masks or say masks aren’t necessary. Wimps.

  15. Kelly says:

    We need the masks to protect compromised people. It’s to early to lift wearing face masks. Look how it spiraled in Florida, Texas , Louisiana, and Georgia. Please make it a requirement to wear masks. Ive lived in California most of my life I’m 63 with health conditions. I’m now thinking of moving out of state because of the high numbers of covid 19 we have here.

    1. Hi Kelly, The governor has issued a statewide mask order. It has been in place since mid-June.

  16. Paul Barresi says:

    I am 72 year old with pre existing health issues. Although I have had my full dose of vaccine for COVID, I am still careful. Irrespective of what the new mask requires are as of May 8th for the county of San Bernardino, I believe the laws should still apply for gyms because there is so much heavy in and out [far reaching] breathing and exertion of the lungs. 24 Hour Fitness where I train in Fontana are very relaxed with their own rules regarding mask wearing. In short, they don’t enforce their own policy to always wear masks on the workout floor. On one hand, its great that their is no mask requirement by law now, however, in this case, where people are in close proximity of one another and working out, the law should remain.

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