DAVIS – COVID-19 cases are increasing in Yolo County. To slow the spread, the county is launching a new warning system to let people know when they should wear masks to raise awareness of the rising trend.
Instead of looking at case rates, the county is monitoring the spread through COVID-19 sewage levels.
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Pachamama Coffee still requires employees to wear masks, but not customers.
“It’s kind of an example,” said Sariah Bugnacki, a barista there. “I think when people see us wearing masks, they tend to put on their masks more.”
When the cafe learned that the county had started a new voluntary signage campaign, it welcomed the idea.
“We want to let people know whether they should wear masks or not,” Bugnacki said.
Indoor venues may post color-coded signs based on COVID-19 risk levels and recommend who should mask up at that level. Currently the level is red for high transmission.
Companies can download the leaflets here.
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“If there’s a flare up, that’s good to know so we don’t all walk around without a mask on,” Jeffrey Troughton said.
Public health officer Dr Aimee Sisson said she knows people are suffering from another COVID effect: fatigue.
Many people do not keep up to date with the latest news about the virus.
“We want people to make this decision based on up-to-date information and that’s why we have these signs that indicate the current level of COVID risk,” Dr. Sisson said.
When Yolo County refers to indoor masks, it means high quality masks like an N95 or KN95 – not surgical or cloth masks. They tend to be more expensive, so the county is distributing 20,000 free high-quality masks throughout the region, including libraries.
However, some people say they have already made up their minds. Michelle Troughton has a different perspective than her son, Jeffrey Troughton. The couple went shopping downtown.
“I think they’re done with someone telling them what to do,” Michelle Troughton said.
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Public health officials say they are aware that some people will choose not to wear a mask, but just want them to be aware of the level of risk.