California Gov. Gavin Newsom Mandates All Residents to Wear Face Coverings in Public

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide order requiring all residents to wear a face covering in public after people were failing to do so on their own.

People cross the street amid coronavirus pandemic in Huntington Beach, California

Image via Getty/APU GOMES/AFP

People cross the street amid coronavirus pandemic in Huntington Beach, California

All Californians are now required to wear a face covering whenever they are outside, KTLA reports. California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the statewide order earlier today after Los Angeles County reported a new record number of coronavirus cases (2,126) on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the state as a whole appears to be trending in the wrong direction with confirmed cases continuing to gradually rise. 

Newsom believes that one of the main contributors to the rise in coronavirus cases is that too many Californians have been out in public without a mask on. 

"Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered — putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease," Newsom said in a statement. "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." 

Face masks will not be required for people eating at restaurants, for obvious reasons, as well as while people are biking, swimming, hiking, and running.

In April, the CDC recommended the use of cloth face coverings while outside to serve as additional layer of protection when maintaining social distancing cannot be achieved. "Wearing a mask is good for two reasons: It's going to cut down 95 percent of the breathing that sends the virus up to 6 feet away in a room, and also will reduce fecal/oral transmission by preventing the virus from getting into your nose or mouth if you touch a contaminated surface and then your face," Padwick told Healthline. "I think this will slow down the virus a lot."

The use of a face covering is especially important among those who are asymptomatic or exhibit mild symptoms since they run the risk of being unaware that they are spreading COVID-19 to other people who could suffer a more severe infection. WHO reports that the group of individuals who are asymptomatic or show mild symptoms represent 80 percent of coronavirus cases. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a similar face covering order in April. On Tuesday, the state reported its lowest number of new cases since March 17. In fact, New York hasn't eclipsed the 1,000 mark since June 5. 

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