PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — In a new move to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Placer and Sacramento County Public Health Officers are now recommending residents wear cloth face coverings when they leave the house.

Dr. Aimee Sisson issued the recommendation on Thursday saying, “While we recognize the potential for face coverings to help reduce the spread of germs, we want to stress that people should be staying home first and foremost.”

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Dr. Peter Bielenson, Sacramento County’s Health Service Director, told CBS13 over text Thursday evening that he is also recommending people wear masks or face coverings.

This recommendation comes a day after the California Department of Public Health said cloth face coverings can be a helpful tool to slow the spread of COVID-19 when used in addition to physical distancing and handwashing.

In Placer County, health officials say the recommendation comes after “increasing evidence that transmission of the virus can occur as early as three days before people develop symptoms.”

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Face coverings include bandanas, scarves, or homemade cloth covers. They should cover the nose and mouth and be secure enough to not require frequent adjustment. Health officials stress that the general public should not wear surgical masks or N95 respirators, because they are in short supply for health care workers.

State and local health officials stress that face coverings should not be used in place of other strategies to slow the spread of the virus. People still need to practice physical distancing, standing at least six feet away from each other, and wash their hands frequently.

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The cloth face coverings should be washed after every use, or at least daily. Dr. Sisson recommends having a bag or bin to keep used face coverings in until they can be washed with detergent and hot water and dried on a hot cycle.