KN95 masks and nitrile gloves on January 26, 2022. The masks and gloves have been PPE staples during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News)

Nursing facility workers in Contra Costa County will continue to be required to wear a mask indoors once the state’s requirement ends next week, the county’s health department said Monday.

The health order, issued by county Health Officer Dr. Ori Tzvieli, will take effect April 3 and will require skilled nursing facility staff as well as paramedics, emergency medical technicians, contractors and vendors to wear a mask when inside one of the county’s 30 skilled nursing facilities, also commonly called nursing homes.

The order will not apply to patients or visitors to local nursing facilities, according to Contra Costa Health Services. It will also not apply to assisted living facilites, residential care facilities or board-and-care homes.

“Requiring staff at SNFs to wear well-fitting masks will help protect their vulnerable elderly patients from being infected with COVID,” Tzvieli said. “We know from our experience during the pandemic that the people SNFs serve – seniors with serious underlying health problems – are the ones who are most susceptible to severe outcomes from a COVID infection.”

The state plans to lift its mask requirements for all health care facilities on April 3, but individual health departments can still issue their own mask guidelines.

The state lifted its COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency Feb. 28.