Berks County announced it is mandating employees, security and visitors in County Government offices and buildings to wear masks in order to further limit the spread of COVID19. The policy begins today, April 7th at noon, until further notice.
The county defines a mask as a cloth or paper shroud worn to obstruct the mouth and nose. This device is intended to contain potentially infectious spittle that could be aerosolized when coughing, sneezing or speaking.
An N95 respirator meets this definition UNLESS the respirator is equipped with an exhalation valve as that device defeats the concept of keeping others safe from the wearer.
In addition, all employees on county business, whether in county owned/leased facilities or out in the community, will always wear a mask covering their nose and mouth.
Visitors to county facilities with appropriate justification to be there shall also wear a mask. Members of the public are encouraged to have/wear their own mask. As supplies permit, visitors without a mask will be issued a disposable mask that must be properly worn when in the facility.
Employees working in a single occupancy space and who are reasonably assured they will be working without someone else entering the space, are permitted to work without the mask but must don a mask prior to entering a common area or if someone else enters the single occupancy space.
The County is making efforts to secure cloth masks for employees who do not desire to provide their own. Until supplies are available, employees needing a mask will be issued a disposable mask.
This mask must be maintained and reused as necessary to ensure supplies are managed. Employees who do not preserve their provided mask, and who are unable to supply their own mask, will not be permitted entry to the workplace.
If an employee does not have a mask, they will be denied entry and sent home on unpaid leave, and will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.