New county order requires symptom screening, masks at health care facilities | News

Licensed health care facilities in Contra Costa County will have to screen all staff and visitors for high temperatures and must wear masks under a new health order that goes into effect Tuesday, Contra Costa Health Services officials said.

County health officer Dr. Chris Farnitano issued the order Monday as part of Contra Costa County’s attempt to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The order applies to residential care sites such as nursing and senior care homes, psychiatric facilities, group homes, recovery houses and homeless shelters.

Anyone who is not a patient or resident at the facility will have to undergo temperature and symptom screening, and cannot enter if they’ve had a respiratory illness or fever in the past seven days or a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Staff and visitors to the facilities must also wear surgical masks or cloth ones if surgical masks are not available, and staff will have to log the screenings to help keep track of any possible illnesses.

“The age and health of many county residents, particularly those living in congregate care settings, places them at higher risk of serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19,” Farnitano said in a news release. “This order is another precaution we can take as a community to protect our vulnerable residents.”

The full order and more information about the county’s response to COVID-19 can be found online at coronavirus.cchealth.org.