Masking & Prevention
Wearing a well-fitted, high-quality mask (KN94/95 or N95) is an easy way to help stop your respiratory droplets from reaching others and to avoid breathing in droplets from others.
Masking is no longer required for the general public, but it is recommended when COVID levels are high. The CDC's COVID-19 community levels can help guide your decision on when to wear a mask.
Regardless of the CDC's COVID-19 community levels, the State of California recommends:
- Wear a mask around others if you have respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose and sore throat
- Consider wearing a mask when you are in indoor areas of public transportation and transportation hubs
- Choose a mask that provides the best fit and filtration (respirators such as N95, KN95 and KN94 are best)
- Wear a mask for 10 days if you've been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
Upgrade Your Mask
Not all masks provide the same protection. Wear a mask with the best fit, protection and comfort for you. No matter which mask you choose, make sure it fits well with no gaps.
- N95 (also best for wildfire smoke)
- Choose a size and model that fits your face and has no gaps
- If you wear an N95 respirator, you should not wear an additional face covering over or under the respirator, as it can interfere with the seal to the face
- KF94 or K95
- Double mask: wear two masks (disposable mask underneath AND cloth mask on top)
- Surgical mask
- Cloth mask
- It should fit snugly and have at least three layers
- A cloth mask is better than no mask
Other Prevention Measures
- Get vaccinated or boosted: COVID vaccines are the best protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID. Stay up to date on your COVID vaccines by getting an updated bivalent mRNA vaccine.
- Wash or sanitize your hands regularly
- Outdoors is safer than indoors
- Good indoor ventilation: Good indoor ventilation can reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially in crowded places. To improve air flow, open windows and doors, run heating and air systems, and use portable air cleaners.