California will require most of its nearly 40 million people to wear face coverings both inside and outside, when physical distancing is not possible.
Gov. Gavin Newsom 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 Thursday. "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."
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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.
The state's order exempts:
- Children under 2 years old;
- Individuals with medical, mental health or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
- Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
- Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence;
- Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
- Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings of masks for both inmates and staff.
As of Wednesday, California reported 157,015 coronavirus cases and more than 5,200 deaths from the virus.
This story originally published by Mark Saunders on 10news.com