Telephone Town Hall Info on Face Coverings, the New Shelter in Place, & More

April 14, 2020

My office held our fourth telephone Town Hall on April 8, providing updates on new shelter in place rules, unemployment applications, property taxes, accessing our regional parks, and guidance on face coverings.

Below is a recap of the Town Hall. And you can listen to it on my new COVID-19 Resource page or right here:



  • Shelter in Place: On March 31, Bay Area counties strengthened the shelter in place order and extended it through May 3. Click here to read the order along with an FAQ.
  • Property Taxes: Alameda County Treasurer-Tax Collector Henry Levy added new information on his website for those unable to pay by the April 10 deadline, specifying how to avoid penalties and how to apply for an interest waiver.
  • Unemployment: Employment Development Department (EDD) added staff and created a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance page. Best advice: Apply online, avoid calling EDD if you can, and opt for the electronic benefits rather than a check for faster processing. 
  • East Bay Regional Park District Director Elizabeth Echols explained why some parks, including Point Isabel, had to close. However, many are still open; info on which are open can be found at the EBRPD website.
  • And a reminder, if you have not done so, please fill out the Census. Now more than ever, it's vital that every household gets counted.

Guidance on Face Coverings:

Our county Public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control recommend that we wear face coverings when we go out to the grocery store, pharmacy, or other essential service. A bandana, scarf, fabric mask, neck gaiter, or other cloth barrier can help prevent those who have mild or no COVID-19 symptoms from unknowingly spreading it to others.

Please do not use surgical masks or N95s. It is important that we preserve the limited supply of medical grade masks for health care workers and first responders.

Note: Cloth face coverings primarily act as a barrier should you not have symptoms and thus be unaware that you may be spreading COVID-19. So, wearing one protects each of us from spreading COVID-19 unknowingly. Remember: Face coverings are not a replacement for staying home, physical distancing, and hand washing to help stop the spread.

Here are guidelines for proper cloth face coverings. They should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost. The cloth material used should be able washed repeatedly with detergent and dried on a hot cycle. Best to make sure the face covering is comfortable, in order to avoid constantly adjusting it, which requires touching your face. And always wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after touching your face or face coverings.

Here is a link to Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams detailing how to create your own face covering in a few easy steps. Here also are a few tutorials on making your own face coverings at home: Deaconess Health tutorialDIY tie face coveringMask for a Nurse by a NursePleated face covering.

Finally, below are some graphics on how to create a quick cut T-shirt face covering (no-sew method) and a bandana cloth face covering (no-sew method).

How to create your own face covering: