Updated 4:05 p.m.
California is now requiring residents to wear masks in nearly all indoor settings, as well as while outdoors, according to guidelines from the state Department Public of Health on Thursday.
Gov. Gavin Newsom reinforced the importance of wearing masks and face coverings while in any indoor public spaces. “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.
Several regions in California, including Yolo County, are seeing increases in coronavirus cases that might affect plans for reopening the economy in those areas.
The CDPH says that face coverings, in addition to physical distancing and hand-washing, lessen the spread of COVID-19 as communities grapple with more cases.
“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Newsom said. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”
According to the CDPH, residents are now required to wear face coverings or masks in the following “situations”:
- While inside or waiting in line at any indoor public area or business
- When at a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic or any other health care sector business
- On public transit or in a taxi or ride-hailing vehicle
- While at work in an office or off-site
- When outdoors and keeping six-feet distance from people outside of your household is not possible
There are exemptions to people who have to wear masks, including young children under the age of two, people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf and people who are exercising outside if they can maintain a safe distance.
Masks have been a controversial issue in many areas. Stockton voted down a mask requirement presented by Mayor Micheal Tubbs. Orange County Chief Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick resigned June 8 after receiving threats over requirements to wear masks in public.
Stanislaus County announced Wednesday they would require residents to wear masks, before the statewide order was announced. Supervisor Kristin Olsen made the announcement on Facebook during a daily briefing for the county’s Office of Emergency Services.
“I know the idea of mandatory face coverings is difficult news for many people in our community. I don’t like wearing one myself,” Olsen said in the Facebook video. “If this was nanny government policy to protect me from myself, I wouldn’t support it. But that is not what this is. Face coverings are to protect other people from you. Wearing face coverings is about protecting our neighbors, our family members and our friends. And they will allow public health to open more businesses and activities in our county.”
More information on the new guidelines are at the CDPH’s website.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated where the new mask guidelines would apply. Residents are required to wear masks in nearly all indoor settings, as well as while outdoors in some situations.
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