Statewide Mask Order: Californians Must Wear Face Coverings in Public

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Californians must wear masks in all indoor public spaces under a new mandate announced yesterday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health. The new rule is intended to prevent people who are infected with COVID-19 but not showing symptoms from spreading the virus.

The mandated guidelines detail how and when face coverings must be worn by the general public when interacting with others outside the home. The new rules require face coverings when people are within buildings or businesses as workers or customers; standing in line to enter a building or business; walking through common areas like hallways, stairways, elevators and parking garages; using rideshare services (e.g. Uber or taxis); and taking public transit.

It also requires masks for people at all locations where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution. Masks are also required outdoors in spaces where people can’t maintain six feet of distance from one another.

“There is solid science and evidence that shows masks are very effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and we are hopeful that this order will prevent a future shutdown,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “We are successfully starting up the economy here in San Bernardino County, and the simple act of wearing a mask will help our businesses and get people back to work.”

There are important exemptions from the mask mandate, including children two years or under; persons with a medical or mental health condition, or a disability that prevents wearing a face covering; those who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired; and any person for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk for the person or others related to their work.

Common sense applies

The guidelines also address situations when a face covering is not practical, unnecessary or simply doesn’t make sense.

For example, a face covering cannot be used when someone is obtaining a service involving the nose or face. Also, people can remove their masks in public while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a safe distance from persons who are not household members.

And no masks are necessary when someone is engaged in outdoor work or recreation when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.

“When it comes to the opportunity to save lives from COVID-19, all of us have a responsibility and one of them is quite simple: wear a face covering,” said San Bernardino County Interim Public Health Director Corwin Porter. “Be mindful when you’re out in public. It is not only now a mandate, but wearing a face covering is the right thing to do to protect yourself, your family, friends and community.”

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