Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered everyone in California to wear face coverings while out in public or in high-risk environments.
Newsom announced the expanded guidance on Thursday, a day after California experienced a single-day record for new coronavirus cases. The new order requires masks or coverings to be worn in most settings, and according to Newsom, is aimed to help stop a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.
“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, according to KTLA. “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.”
Prior to Thursday’s order, the state only recommended masks be worn in public, though some counties, including Los Angeles County, had already mandated residents to wear them. Experts, including in the Trump administration, have urged people to wear masks given that can prevent spreading the contagion.
“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Newsom said. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”
California has had the third-most infections of any state, and as of Thursday afternoon, has seen more than 164,000 confirmed cases and almost 5,300 deaths, according to a count by the New York Times.