Governor Newsom Issues Statewide Order Requiring Masks or Face Coverings

Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an order requiring the wearing masks or face coverings when in public or in high-risk settings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

San Diego County already has a public health order which requires the wearing of masks or face coverings. Officials say the state's order mirrors the statewide order but the county is making some changes in the wording of the order to make it consistent with the statewide order.

Newsom's statewide order comes one week after Orange County rescinded a requirement to wear face coverings. Before Thursday, the state was recommending that masks be worn. Now, everyone in the state over the age of two must wear them. Anyone eating at a restaurant or recreating outdoors may remove them as long as they are able to practice social distancing.

Anyone who has a disability that prevents them from covering their face doesn't have to wear a mask. But the order requires people to wear face coverings in most indoor settings and outdoors when physical distancing isn't possible.

The governor had previously allowed counties to set their own requirements for facial coverings to slow the spread of the coronavirus. San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco already have face-covering mandates in effect.

"Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease," Newsom said. "California’s strategy to restart the economy and get people back to work will only be successful if people act safely and follow health recommendations. That means wearing a face covering, washing your hands, and practicing physical distancing."

California's cloth face covering mandate includes situations like:

While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.

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 paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;

-Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, 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.

-Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.


(Photo credit Gov Newsom office)

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