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May 29

Guide to Face Coverings

Posted on May 29, 2020 at 2:16 PM by Heather Smith

We all play a role in slowing the spread of coronavirus in our community. Wearing cloth face coverings that cover your nose and mouth and keeping a safe distance, 6 feet or more, from others are two ways to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Face Coverings Requirement

Effective May 29, 2020, Executive Order 63 requires Virginians to wear face coverings in public indoor settings to help contain the spread of COVID-19. A face covering includes anything that covers your nose and mouth, such as a mask, scarf or bandana.

Under the governor’s executive order, any person age ten and older must wear a mask or face covering at all times while entering, exiting, traveling through and spending time in the following public settings:

  • Personal care and grooming businesses
  • Essential and non-essential brick and mortar retail, including grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Food and beverage establishments
  • Entertainment or public amusement establishments when permitted to open
  • Train stations, bus stations and on intrastate public transportation, including in waiting or congregating areas
  • State and local government buildings and areas where the public accesses services
  • Any indoor space shared by groups of people who may congregate within six feet of one another or who are in close proximity to each other for more than ten minutes


Exemptions to these guidelines include while eating and drinking at a food and beverage establishment; individuals who are exercising; children under the age of two; a person seeking to communicate with a hearing-impaired person, for which the mouth needs to be visible; and anyone with a health condition that keeps them from wearing a face covering. Children over the age of two are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering to the extent possible.

What is the Purpose of a Face Covering?

A cloth face covering can help prevent individuals who do not know they are carrying COVID-19 from transmitting the virus to others. The cloth is intended to catch droplets from your nose and mouth that may be projected when you talk, sneeze, cough and breathe. By limiting the potential of these droplets from landing on others and on surfaces, you can reduce the spread of the coronavirus and other germs even when you do not have symptoms.

It is important to understand that cloth face coverings do not prevent you from becoming infected with coronavirus. The best ways to protect yourself are practicing physical distancing, washing your hands and the other prevention measures prescribed by the CDC.

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

  • Wear a cloth face covering to cover your nose and mouth. 
  • Use simple cloth face coverings made at home from common materials at low cost. Get instructions on how to make your own face covering. .
  • Save surgical masks or N-95 respirators for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Follow these tips for wearing and caring for cloth face coverings:

  • Make sure there are no gaps around your nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands before putting on a face covering.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth when removing your face covering.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing the covering.
  • Do not place face coverings on children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Routinely wash face coverings. According to CDC, a washing machine properly washes a cloth face covering.

County Government Facilities

Effective Friday, May 29, 2020, face coverings are required in all county facilities. More information.


Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.
  • Visit for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19. 
  • Text LCCOVID19 to 888777 to receive text alerts from Loudoun County about COVID-19. 
    • Text LCCOVIDESP to 888777 to receive text messages in Spanish from Loudoun County about COVID-19.
Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email.

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