Masks and Face Coverings
As of July 16, face coverings are now required in areas open to the public and in most place of public accommodation in Springfield, with limited exceptions. Public Accommodation means a business or other facility, both public and private, both indoor and outdoors, open to and use by the public. You can read the ordinance by clicking here.
Face coverings are just one tool in our COVID-19 prevention toolkit.
Combined with other tools like staying home, hand washing, and physical distancing, they may help slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals should wear a face covering even if they don’t have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19. This is because of evidence that people with COVID-19 can spread the disease even before they have symptoms.
When to wear a face covering:
- Wear a face covering anytime you are in a public or group setting.
- Examples include, but are not limited to: retail stores including groceries, service establishments, schools, except those of higher education, other educational service providers, transportation services and associated waiting areas, public and private social clubs and sporting events.
How to choose a face covering:
- You can purchase a cloth mask or make your own. Make sure your face covering has multiple layers of fabric.
- Click here for instructions on sewing your own face covering or making one from an old tshirt or bandana.
- Do not use surgical masks or N95s. These should be reserved for the people who have that training—nurses, doctors, and first responders.
- Gaiters and face shields are currently being evaluated for effectiveness and are NOT recommended at this time.
- Face coverings should not be used on children under the age of 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who cannot remove the mask without help.
How to wear a face covering:
- Make sure that it covers your nose and mouth at all times
- Wash your hands before touching your face covering.
- Use the ear loops or ties to put your face covering on.
- The face covering needs to fit snugly around your face, secured under your chin, and without any gaps, while still allowing you to breath without restriction.
How to remove your face covering:
- Wash your hands before removing your face covering.
- Use the ear loops or ties to remove the face covering. Do not touch the front of the covering, and do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing it.
- Is it wet or visibly dirty? Wash it or throw away. Cloth face coverings need to be washed regularly.
- Store your face covering inside something clean, like a paper bag or Ziploc bag. Your purse or pocket doesn’t cut it.
- Wash your hands again!
Don’t let a face covering give you a false sense of security! When out in the community, follow physical distancing guidelines and wash your hands often with soap and water.
Face coverings and kids
Here are a few resources for tips on getting kids to wear face coverings.
NOTE: Face coverings are not recommended for children under the age of 2.