California authorities made it mandatory to wear the mask in public on Thursday, with a few exceptions.
“Science shows that masks and masks work,” said Governor Gavin Newsom in a statement. “They are essential for ensuring the safety of those around you, keeping businesses open and reviving our economy. “
The move came after most counties in the country’s most populous state were allowed to reopen restaurants, bars, gyms and hair salons with restrictions. The California Department of Public Health reported a daily increase of 3,455 cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, with a total of 157,015 confirmed cases and 5,208 deaths.
While California is seeing an increase in its cases, other states in the United States are seeing dramatic peaks after their reopening and lifting of restrictions. Texas, Florida and Arizona all recorded record numbers of coronaviruses in the past week.
Let our news respond to your inbox. The news and stories that matter, delivered in the morning on weekdays.
Face covers will be needed in public spaces, workplaces, public transportation, as well as in common walkways and elevators in offices and businesses, the ministry said. Exceptions include dinner, drink or participation in an outdoor sporting activity which can be performed at a distance between people 6 feet.
The mandate includes medical exemptions.
This requirement was already in place in the two largest counties in the state, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Orange County – just south of Los Angeles and containing Anaheim – also had a warrant for face covers, but it was openly derided by some members of the public and was canceled last week.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said he would not enforce the warrant until it was canceled.
County health chief Nichole Quick resigned on June 8 following threats and protests outside his home regarding his department’s masking order, according to NBC Los Angeles.
On April 3, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of a mask nationwide. “The CDC recommends wearing cloth face covers in public places where other measures of social distancing are difficult to maintain,” he said at the time.
Newsom said masks are essential for the successful reopening of the world’s fifth largest economy.
“Simply put, we see too many people whose faces are not being exposed – which jeopardizes the real progress we have made in the fight against the disease,” he said. “California’s strategy to revive the economy and get people back to work will only work if people act safely and follow health recommendations. “