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Are Central Coast food service workers required to wear masks?

Recommendations vary county to county
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Posted at 1:34 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 16:41:30-04

With restaurants statewide only able to serve meals to-go, many are wondering what other protocols are in place for food service workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Santa Barbara County, a Health Officer Order in effect from April 5 through May 4 requires facilities that serve food to comply with hygiene and social distancing standards.

Food facilities, including restaurants, bars, nightclubs and coffee shops can only be open for food pick-up, delivery or drive-thru.

Workers are also required to wear masks or material that covers their nose and mouth.

Further, it’s recommended that restaurants and similar establishments in the county screen everyone, aside from customers, for COVID-19 symptoms when arriving at the facility.

San Luis Obispo County’s policies are not as strict.

The public health department says no additional requirements have been added for food service workers beyond measures already in place prior to the pandemic.

While health officials say they have received many questions about the use of masks or gloves at various food establishments, officials say they are directing owners and managers to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guidance.

Neither county is requiring food service workers to wear gloves unless previously required to do so.