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Essential businesses in San Diego County must post COVID-19 guidelines near entrances

All employees of grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants open for to-go orders must also wear a facial covering at all times as part of a county health order.

SAN DIEGO — Authorities Tuesday will begin citing essential businesses that have not complied with the requirement to post social-distancing and sanitization guidelines near the entrance of their businesses.

All employees of grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants open for to-go orders, fast-food eateries, convenience stores and gas stations must also wear a facial covering at all times as part of a county health order that went into effect at midnight on Saturday.

Although the county is not mandating that residents wear face coverings, essential businesses can deny entry to customers whose faces are not covered, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Monday.

"If an individual business chooses to say that you need to have a face covering to come into their business, that is a determination that those businesses can make," he said.

Security guards at many grocery stores are limiting the number of people inside to keep people from crowding together in the aisles. One expert does say if you see a long line out front, it’s best to turn around and come back perhaps in the middle of the day when things seem to be less busy.

Some stores even have face shields for their workers at the register. But you’ll also notice workers are required to wear face masks and shoppers are being advised to wear them too.

Places like Trader Joe’s, each shopper gets hand sanitizer before they enter and the carts are constantly wiped down between shoppers. Experts also advise you to sanitize your hands before you get into your car after shopping and wipe down all of your groceries immediately. Keep in mind, a shopping cart is three feet, so double that to keep proper distance between you and other shoppers.

The number of San Diego County COVID-19 cases rose by 78 on Monday, reaching a total of 1,404. The number of county deaths remains at 19. 

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View all News 8 coverage of coronavirus / COVID-19  
 
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We also have a Frequently Asked Questions page we will continue updating with the latest information and reports.  

Click here to watch "Facts Not Fear," a News 8 Special on coronavirus from March 26, 2020. 
 

BACKGROUND  

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.  

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:  

Know how it spreads 

  • There is no vaccine  

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus 

  • It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact 

  • And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes 

Protect yourself 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds 

  • If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol 

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 

  • Put distance between yourselves and others 

Protect others 

  • Stay home when you are sick 

  • Wear a facemask if you are sick 

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash 

  • If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow 

  • Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing  

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe 

You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page. 

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  

The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses. 

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders. 

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