Unhealthy Air Quality Guidance

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Yolo County continues to recommend if you see or smell smoke, to take the following actions:

  • Minimize all outdoor activities, even if you're healthy.
  • Children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should be particularly careful to avoid extensive exposure.
  • Stay indoors with doors and windows closed as much as possible.
  • Asthmatics should follow their asthma management plan.
  • Contact your doctor if you have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms you believe to be caused by smoke.

As well as providing this guidance to the public, the Yolo County Health Department is also advising the cautious use of N95 respirators for the following reasons:

  • N95 respirators can make it more difficult for the wearer to breathe due to carbon dioxide build up, which reduces the intake of oxygen, increased breathing rates and heart rates.
  • People with chronic respiratory, cardiac or other medical conditions that make breathing difficulty should check with their healthcare provider before using an N95 respirator.
  • To work as expected, an N95 respirator requires a proper fit to your face.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not generally recommend facemasks and respirators for use in home or community settings.
  • N95 use may lead to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, work of breathing, carbon dioxide buildup in micro-ambient air and heat stress -- potentially posing risk to sensitive populations.
  • Use of masks may encourage outdoor activity which could worsen exposure.
  • N95 masks are not recommended for children due to the impact on breathing.

Please follow the above recommended actions to stay healthy and safe. For more information regarding air quality and public health in Yolo, visit: www.ysaqmd.org.