Fremont officials issued an executive order on Thursday requiring people to use face coverings at certain essential places of business to protect workers and the public and to prevent the community spread of the new coronavirus.
The city said the places of business identified in the order include those where members of the public may still be visiting for essential services during the current shelter-in-place order.
Workers at those businesses must also wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while performing their jobs, according to the city.
Workers' face coverings must be provided by their employer and are not required to be medical-grade masks or N95 respirators, so cloth coverings, such as scarves and bandanas, are suitable.
City officials said all customers and visitors of the identified businesses and organizations must also wear face coverings to provide additional protection for employees and other customers and may be refused admission or service if they fail to do so.
In addition, employers of all essential workers must permit their employees to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer at least every 30 minutes.
"On a daily basis, the men and women who perform essential functions within our community are at a higher risk for contracting
COVID-19," Fremont Mayor Lily Mei said in a statement.
Mei said, "The City of Fremont has issued this new order to keep these valuable members of our community safe, while also inhibiting the broader spread of COVID-19. In this challenging time, I want to thank you for your patience and anticipated cooperation as we take the appropriate safety measures to mitigate the effects of this public health crisis."
The new regulations are effective immediately and apply to people within the city of Fremont, including all workers who work at businesses or
perform services at designated businesses until the local emergency is declared over, or unless otherwise changed.
Among the businesses affected are all establishments engaged in the retail sale of unprepared food, canned food, dry goods, non-alcoholic beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, as well as hygienic products and household consumer products for personal hygiene or the habitability, sanitation, or operation of residences.
Others include gas stations and auto supply, auto repair, and automotive dealerships, bicycle repair and supply shops, hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the habitability, sanitation, and operation of residences and essential businesses.
Additional businesses affected by the order are:
- Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers.
- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food.
- Funeral home providers, mortuaries, cemeteries, and crematoriums.
- Businesses that have the primary function of shipping or delivering groceries, food, or other goods directly to residences or businesses.
- Taxis, rental car companies, rideshare services, and other private transportation providers.
- Professional services, such as legal, notary, or accounting services.