Face Coverings MUST be Worn on PUSD Facilities, Including Witter Field

Monday, June 15th, 2020 - Posted in All District News COVID District Communications Latest Announcements

Last week, the district re-opened Witter Field for non-organized community use.  Over the past several days, I have received numerous emails from community members and staff who have repeatedly witnessed teens and adults out on the field without masks and not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

While I’m pleased to see our community active, we all must do our part to halt the transmission of COVID-19.  As we continue our planning to return to school in the fall, so much is dependent on our participation in the “social contract” that keeps our community healthy.  This means that each of us adhere to the Alameda County Public Health Department’s June 5th Health Order:

Face Coverings Must Be Worn at All Times, Including When Active Outdoors

To further control the spread of COVID-19, the Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Erica Pan issued a Health Officer Order today, June 5, 2020, broadening when a face covering must be worn. The face covering order goes into effect on June 8, 2020 and supersedes the prior face covering Order. Now face coverings must be worn at all times by all members of the public, including outdoors while engaged in physical activities (walking, running, biking, etc.) and within 30 feet of people outside of their household.

“A face covering helps prevent transmitting the virus that causes COVID-19.” said Dr. Pan. “Everyone should wear a face covering anytime they are outside the home and around other people. This helps decrease the  exposure for all of us and is one of the few tools we have that will allow us to decrease risk as we gradually allow for more activities outside the home.”

Face coverings can be simple and homemade, made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material without holes, that covers the nose and mouth.
Everyone in all settings must wear a face covering where the public is present or likely to be, and at any time when others are nearby.

Those people with a written exemption from a medical professional due to a medical condition, health concern or disability, or anyone who has trouble breathing are not required to wear a face covering.

Children aged 12 and younger are not required to wear a face covering, and any child two years old or younger should not wear a face covering. The Order does not apply if a person is only with members of their own household and does not expect to come into contact with a member of the public. A person engaged in walking, hiking, bicycling, running, and other physical activities is not required to wear a face covering during the entire duration of their activity, but that person must carry a face covering that is easy to access so they can wear it once they are within 30 feet of other people.

“Face coverings protect everyone because people may have COVID-19 and not realize it,” said Dr. Pan. “My face covering protects you and your face covering protects me.”

SFGate recently published an article entitled, “Study: 100% face mask use could crush second, third COVID-19 wave.”  The importance of face coverings is stronger than ever.  “But now a new modeling study out of Cambridge and Greenwich universities suggests that face masks may be even more important than originally thought in preventing future outbreaks of the new coronavirus.”

Please read the entire article to learn how the use of facemasks greatly reduces the potential transmission of COVID-19.

The district will continue to monitor the use of Witter Field and visitors’ adherence to wearing facemasks and engaging in proper social distancing.  If we continue to see non-compliance, the district will re-close Witter Field.


Randall Booker, Superintendent

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