Statewide Issue: Masks Required


Last updated 6/22/2020 at 1:25pm

Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order for face coverings in public to be required on June 18, amid the rise in cases.

The new statewide order follows new guidance from the California Department of Public Health that asymptomatic and presymptomatic people can still spread the disease.

“Our numbers are going up, not going down. Hospitalization numbers are just starting to creep back up, and I’m very concerned by what we’re seeing,” Newsom said.

In the latest guidance, the Department of Public Health explained, “The use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing, and/or sneezing, as well as reinforce physical distancing.”

- Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space

- Getting services at a doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy, 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

- Interacting with any member of the public and walking through hallways, stairways or parking facilities

There are, however, exceptions to those who would be required to wear face coverings.

Children under 2 are exempted from the rules, as are people eating or drinking in restaurants provided they can maintain a minimum six-foot distance from other customers and staff who are not members of the same household.

Additionally, anyone with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering can disregard the order.

Newsom said the statewide measure was a necessary step because “we have many municipalities that require mandatory mask wearing, and people are simply not applying it.”

He did not address how the order will be enforced.

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