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Statewide Order Requires Masks in Public

On June 18 Governor Gavin Newson signed a statewide executive order requiring people to wear face coverings (e.g., masks) in both indoor and outside locations where social distancing is not feasible.

According to the Governor’s office, the goal is “to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well.”

Face coverings have to be worn when people are inside or in line to enter any indoor public space, obtaining healthcare services, waiting or riding on public transportation, engaged in work at a workplace with other people, and in other scenarios, according to the order.

A number of metropolitan areas already have passed similar orders, including Michigan, New York, Maine, Delaware, and Maryland already have statewide mask orders.

Newson noted that “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.”

So far, state officials have reported that more than 160,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed along with more than 5,200 deaths.

The Executive Order does not address how the Order will be enforced. State officials may believe that places where the public congregates will enforce the requirement before granting access to the facility or activity.

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