California Makes Wearing Masks In Public Mandatory With A Few Exceptions As The State Reopens

California Makes Wearing Masks In Public Mandatory With A Few Exceptions As The State Reopens

Children below two years are exempted as well as people engaging in recreational activities such as running and swimming.

California has made it mandatory for people to wear facemasks in public, according to a new government directive. As the state gradually opens up, the administration is still cautious and insists people are not to let loose totally. With the number of cases still rising across the country and the state, the government cannot totally rest easy. Just on Wednesday, the state recorded over 4000 new cases, the highest tally in a single day to have bee recorded, according to SF Chronicle. The precautions such as social distancing and others will still remain. The government stated "the risk for COVID-19 remains and the increasing number of Californians who are leaving their homes for work and other needs, increases the risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection," according to the guidance issued by the state's Department of Public Health. There are however a few exceptions.



One of the main reasons for the masks is because of the understanding that "people who are infected but are asymptomatic or presymptomatic play an important part in community spread." Therefore the use of masks becomes a way to stop this spread. "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. This document updates existing CDPH guidance for the use of cloth face coverings by the general public when outside the home," it stated. It is mandatory to wear masks when inside an "indoor public space" such as going to a doctor or visiting a medical institution such as a "hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory." 



Using any form of public transportation, be it buses or cabs, will also require one to wear masks. Masks are especially mandatory for people who drive or operate any public transportation or paratransit vehicle. Even "when no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended," it added.  One also has to wear masks at workplaces be it on-site or off-site work including people involved in food preparation, packing and distribution. Interacting with closed ones within a public space also mandates masks the guidance emphasizes while also adding that "It does not substitute for existing guidance about social distancing and handwashing." People who have been exempted from the order are kids below the age of two in order to prevent suffocation, people with "mental health condition, or disability" who could be severely affected if they cover their faces. 



People are not required to wear their masks while eating or drinking in restaurants, provided they maintain a distance of at least six feet from each other. If anyone is engaging in a recreational activity such as "swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members" they are also exempted from wearing a mask. Speaking about the measure, Governor Gavin Newsom told CNN, "Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. 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.”  



For the longest time, California had put in place stay-at-home orders with rapidly increasing positive cases. According to a story in The New York Times, the state has 167,000 cases of coronavirus. As many as 5,362 people have died as of Friday. Newsom has also proposed deep cuts in the budget for public universities and health care besides many others to recover from the huge financial losses. 

Information about the pandemic is swiftly changing, and Shared is committed to providing the most recent and verified updates in our articles and reportage. However, considering the frequency in developments, some of the information/data in this article may have changed since the time of publication. Therefore, we encourage you to also regularly check online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization

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