The announcement has caused some confusion, as local and state public health agencies had previously discouraged the public from wearing masks, stating that cloth masks in particular do not prevent the spread of the virus.
While face coverings are now recommended, the state is still not recommending the widespread use of medical-grade masks, in order to conserve both surgical and N95 masks for first responders and health-care workers.
A shopper wearing a breathing mask pushes her cart Monday at Foods Co. in Santa Maria.
However, while some individuals are opting for homemade masks, bandannas or scarves to cover their face, many are still wearing surgical masks.
According to Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg, the purpose of face coverings is mostly to limit the spread of germs to other people and surrounding areas, rather than protecting the wearer themselves from germs.
Health officials have clarified that while recommended, face coverings are not required, and that they are not a substitute for other preventative measures including social distancing, washing hands or sheltering at home.
"Please only leave your home to run essential errands or to get some fresh air in your neighborhood," Hart said.
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Breathing masks made by Wonsook Kim, who does alterations at her family's Nipomo Cleaners, are shown on Tuesday.
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Packaged breathing masks made by Wonsook Kim, who does alterations at her family's Nipomo Cleaners, are shown on Tuesday. Kim and her husband are giving away the masks at their 555 W. Tefft St. business.
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Wonsook Kim, who does alterations at her family's Nipomo Cleaners, makes breathing masks on Tuesday. She and her husband are giving away the masks at their 555 W. Tefft St. business.
Santa Maria Fire Chief Leonard Champion
"Too often, police and fire make the front-page news, and hospital workers don’t," Champion said. "I think this is just the beginning of recognizing hospital staff as first responders ... for a more holistic view."
Santa Maria City Attorney Thomas Watson
"By the time [the essential services list] comes out, we will be in the recovery phase. I have several drafts of it, and we were endeavoring to be very specific for our businesses. The Santa Maria way is to lead the county, not wait for Santa Barbara to provide us with information,"
. City Attorney Thomas Watson said about the city's plans to reopen in phases
Gina's Piece of Cake owner Gina Martin
"All of us down here have a great sense of humor, and we thought it would be funny to do a quarantine toilet paper cake. We’re trying to make light of the situation," Martin said.
"If you have [COVID-19], don't be ashamed, you could save some people’s lives. I’ll do it as many times as I can." Louis Meza, shown at his Santa Maria home where he is recovering, was released from Marian Regional Medical Center after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Louis Meza said he is eager to donate plasma himself once he has been virus-free for two weeks.
Read more online, here.
"I'm trying to smile, even if it's just once in a while, because quarantine is saving people I've never seen," Nipomo High School Junior Jadyn Oates sings.
Santa Maria High senior Dominick Martinez
Santa Maria quarterback Dominick Martinez
"It’s hard to put it into one word, but if I were to I would say 'devastating' ... not only are we missing the most exciting semester of high school but we already had our last day of high school, and it’s just mind-blowing that we had no clue that would be our last day. I’m just looking on the bright side ... I’m healthy, my family’s healthy, I’ve accomplished a lot. Although I am devastated, I understand it could be worse."
Santa Maria High senior Dominick Martinez
Read more -
'Devastated': High school seniors grapple with reality of not returning to school
First district County Supervisor Das Williams
“This shows how powerful collective action is. People are staying at home because they have chosen to stay at home, they have chosen to obey the order. … They have chosen to do that even though they may be losing their jobs, losing their businesses, to protect the health of the community.”
— Das Williams, 1st District Santa Barbara County supervisor, on the impact of the stay-at-home order on the spread of COVID-19
Van Do-Reynoso, Director of the Public Health Department
“I think that this crisis has shown me that we are strong as a county because we work together, we collaborate together and we partner together through thick and thin.”
— Van Do-Reynoso, director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
I do know that in order to keep my mental health and balance, I must do more than just maintain sanitary precautions and limit my social activities. On the way home yesterday, I stopped at a store and bought some board games for my husband and I to play. My favorite? Apples to Apples. I highly recommend it. But Pictionary and Uno are also great. We already really love Backgammon.
Cox family shares smiles
"We have been doing what we can to see people smile, honk and wave," Cassandra Cox said.
Scott and Cassandra Cox, with their sons David and Ryan, wave at cars on Highway 1 near Halcyon Road on the Arroyo Grande Mesa, with the goal of making drivers smile amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jon Hooten, Allan Hancock executive director of college advancement
"The people who came through the line represented a true cross section of Santa Maria – young and old, individuals and families. The only qualification to receive food was to be in line, no questions asked about need or intent. The need for support is critical now, and we’re happy to have the capacity and facility to serve the community in this way," Hooten said.
Marc Sabin, director of senior services
“We continue to serve our consumers at most of the meal sites — a few centers have closed — offering healthy bag lunches to-go, and also giving all seniors the choice of receiving meals at home,” said Marc Sabin, director of senior services.
Peasants Feast's Chef Michael Cherney and Sarah Cherney
"And this is the time – now more than ever – when we all need warmth and nourishment and something delicious in our daily lives," the couple said.
Aaron Bergh, Master Distiller and proprietor of Calwise Spirits Co.
"I didn't plan on pivoting in this direction but when I found that so many first responders and public servants were in dire need of a cost-effective source of sanitizer, I couldn't just sit on the sidelines and watch," Bergh said. “I realized that my equipment and supply chain expertise could help out these everyday heroes as they work tirelessly to keep us safe.”
Read the full story on
SantaMariaTimes.com - Local distillery Calwise Spirits Co. making hand sanitizer; taking orders from first responders
Ken Dahmen, Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley
"Now, some of us are helping with deliveries to people who are concerned that they might not be able to recover from coronavirus. We’re making prescription and grocery runs for them," Ken Dahmen said.
Supervisor Gregg Hart
Following the vote
banning evictions in the county, Supervisor Hart said, “The unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors in support of the eviction moratorium sends a strong message to the community that we are all in this together. This is a benefit to not only residents, but also to businesses struggling during this difficult time. Banning evictions is an extraordinary act to match the unparalleled nature of this pandemic.”
Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander
“We’re not going to stop defending this nation because of COVID-19,” Col. Anthony Mastalir said. “The military is not going to stand down. Our national security mission will not stop, period. It will not stop.
If you’re stuck inside all day, you might as well interact with the other people you’re stuck inside with. Take this time to talk to your family members if you have any concerns or if you don’t know how to cope with what is happening. If you’re not as concerned, then simply take the time to do fun indoor things with your family. Have a game night with everyone, or a movie night with your siblings. Become closer with the people who you love, and who love you. This is an opportunity to become even closer than you were before.
Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino
"I want everyone to know that the City of Santa Maria is committed to taking all possible steps to ensure our community's health and safety during this emergency. We know this is a very challenging time. We will get through this together."
Kenneth Kahn, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
"At this moment, our tribe has faith that the extreme steps our country is taking to fight COVID-19 will save lives, help us get back to normalcy and give our enterprise an opportunity to grow and flourish once again,” Kahn said.
Supervisor Steve Lavagnino
“I’ve noticed a change in our community. We seem more connected. Even though we’re more isolated, we seem to be more connected.”
— Steve Lavagnino, Santa Barbara County 5th District supervisor, on residents’ response to COVID-19
Laura Place covers city government for the Santa Maria Times.
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