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Walnut Creek Magazine

Make A Statement—Wear A Mask

Jul 01, 2020 05:37PM ● By Harper Klein

As the novel coronavirus resurges, we’re trying to adapt. The more we learn about COVID-19, the more it becomes clear that asymptomatic transmission—the spread of the virus by people who are not showing symptoms—is a big deal. Mask-wearing is mandated in California for everyone over the age of two when in public, like waiting in line outdoors for a restaurant table or shopping inside a shoe store. California also reinstituted restrictions on indoor operations and large gatherings days ahead of July 4 celebrations as case numbers climb and medical experts warn the pandemic is out of control in some places.

New infections have spread since Memorial Day, reaching over 225,000 in the state. “One of the biggest concerns as it relates to COVID-19 are family gatherings,” said Governor Newsome this week. “It’s not just bars or protests in the streets. It’s family gatherings when people take down their guard. Everyone may walk into a barbecue with masks on. They put the cooler down. Immediately the mask comes off. Cousins start congregating around and jumping on top of Uncle Joe, and then Uncle Joe is giving them to Aunt Jane,” Newsom said.

“And all of a sudden here comes Uncle Bob two hours late, he gives everyone a hug, and they’re 'Hey Uncle Bob, where’s the mask?’ and Uncle Bob says ‘I don’t believe in that,’ so the whole thing starts to take shape and you start to see the kind of spread that is the top concern that our health officers.” 

On July 1, Newsome announced the state would take a step back for the next three weeks and close indoor operations in nineteen high-risk counties, including Contra Costa: wineries and tasting rooms, zoos, museums, bars, movie theaters, restaurants, and card rooms. Additionally, state beach parking in Northern California from Santa Cruz to Sonoma is closed. Newsome said California will enforce public health orders at non-compliant workplaces and businesses with multi-agency strike force teams and coordinate with local officials to fine and shut down violators.

While masks are not a substitute for physical distancing, washing hands, and staying home, they’re a simple way to stop the spread. Plenty of local makers are churning out homemade face masks in all sorts of breathable, fashionable styles. Here are a few local resources. 

Walnut Creek artist Jane Corich is getting crafty with high quality, cotton masks and selling them at local farmers’ markets. $10, Saturdays 9 am-1 pm at Shadelands Business Park. 

Designer Kelli  Kelli Ronci  handcrafts jewelry and clothing in her Mill Valley Corda studio, and now she’s also sewing fun cotton face masks for kids and adults. Starting at $14.99,

San Francisco textile designer Stevie Howell added organic cotton face masks to her online store. Available in sets of five mixed prints. $38,

Bay Area mom Casey Him colorful headbands, scrunchies, and masks and sells them through her store. Follow her brand, Rarity by Casey, on Instagram.

Can you sew? Volunteer to help make masks at




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