Governor Gavin Newsom ordered Californians to wear masks, saying a growing body of scientific research has shown that people with no or few symptoms of COVID-19 can still spread the disease.
“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Newsom said in a statement. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”
The governor didn’t cite any particular study in his press release.
“Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease,” he said.
The state order, which typically takes precedence over county rules, comes after Orange County health officials said masks were a recommendation; the officials previously said masks were mandatory. Sheriff Don Barnes has previously said his force will not become “the mask police.”
Today’s guidance mandates the use of cloth face coverings by the general public statewide when outside the home, with limited exceptions.
Californians must wear face coverings when they are in the situations listed below:
-Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
-Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
-Waiting for or riding on public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
At the workplace, Californians must wear the masks when:
-Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
-Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
-Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
-Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
-In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.
More information about the state’s COVID-19 guidance is on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance web page.
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