Face Covering and Mask Guidance

Statewide Face Covering Guidance 


* All Businesses and the Public should review OHA’s detailed Statewide Mask, Face Covering, Face Shield Guidance to ensure that they understand what is required of them.*




Public guidance


Effective August 13th, 2020 all persons ages five(5) and older, are required to wear a face covering under the following circumstances:

  • When in an indoor space open to the public; including but not limited to businesses and their lobbies, meeting rooms, elevators, bathrooms.
  • When in an outdoor space open to the public and when at least six(6) feet of distancing cannot be maintained.

Some exceptions to these rules are as follows:

  • Face coverings are not required when eating or drinking.
  • Face coverings are not required when engaged in certain activities where wearing a face covering is not feasible, such as swimming.
  • Face coverings may be removed briefly when a person's identity needs to be confirmed by visual comparison.

Individuals who have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents the individual from wearing a mask, face shield or face covering can request an accommodation from the business or indoor/outdoor space operator to enable full and equal access to services, transportation, and facilities open to the public.


Business Guidance


Note: There may be mask, face shield and face covering requirements and recommendations that apply to other businesses or sectors not specifically identified in this guidance. Businesses and sectors should review and comply with any mask, face shield, face covering requirements in the other applicable Business/Sector Guidance that may apply.

Effective August 13th, 2020 all businesses and persons responsible for an indoor or outdoor space open to the public are required to:

  • Require employees, contractors, volunteers, customers and visitors to wear a mask, face shield or face covering.
  • Provide face coverings for employees.
  • Provide accommodations for employees, contractors, customers, and visitors if such accommodations are required by law.
  • Post clear signs about the face covering requirements.

Some exceptions to these rules are as follows:

  • Face coverings are not required when eating or drinking.
  • Face coverings are not required when engaged in certain activities where wearing a face covering is not feasible, such as swimming.
  • Employees and contractors are not required to wear a mask when job does not require interacting with the public and when six(6) feet of distance can be maintained between other people.


Public and Private Office Spaces


Masks, face coverings or face shields are required at all times for employees in public and private office spaces, including hallways, bathrooms, elevators, lobbies, break rooms, and other common spaces, unless employees are at individual work spaces or in meeting rooms where six(6) feet of distance from other people can be consistently maintained.


About Accommodations


If a person with a disability cannot wear a mask, face shield or face covering, a place of public accommodation will need to work with that person to seek a reasonable modification to access their services, such as curbside pick-up, delivery, or an appointment by phone or video. A reasonable modification does not include simply allowing a customer inside without a mask, face covering or face shield. You should not ask an individual with a disability for a doctor’s note or other similar proof of their disability. If an individual informs you that they are unable to wear a mask, face shield, or face covering, you must consider what reasonable modifications you can make to allow the individual access to services. 


Notes about Face Coverings


  • Masks and face coverings protect the people around you. You may feel great, but we know that people who are pre-symptomatic or do not have symptoms can spread COVID-19. Do not put the people you know and love at risk.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people not living in their household, especially when other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.
  • Cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.
  • COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent your respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people.
  • Masks with exhalation valves do not comply with the statewide face covering requirement. They are intended to make breathing easier and prevent humidity buildup. Depending on mask type and mask fit, these masks can protect the wearer from inhaling droplets and aerosols. However, they do not filter exhaled or forced aerosols and droplets because the exhalation valve is not equipped with a filter. These masks are not acceptable to prevent transmission of microbes. They are only acceptable in situations where masks, face shields or face coverings are not required.


Face Covering Use

How to Wear your Face Covering
  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
  • 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 take off a face covering
  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
  • Fold outside corners together.
  • Place covering in the washing machine.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and wash hands immediately after removing.


How to clean and dry face Coverings


  • Washing machine
    • You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.
    • Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.
  • Washing by hand
    • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (about 1/3 cup) of household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or 4 teaspoons of household bleach per quart of room temperature water.

Drying: Make sure to completely dry your face covering after washing.

  • Dryer
    • Use the highest heat setting and leave in the dryer until completely dry.
  • Air dry
    • Lay flat and allow to completely dry. If possible, place cloth face covering in direct sunlight.


Multi-Lingual Resources


Multi-lingual resources on face covering use by the public to prevent spread of COVID-19 are available: