California State Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an order urging all residents to wear face coverings while in public, citing the prevailing risks for COVID-19 exposure and infection.
The order was issued on the growing concern of the pandemic, as the number of Californians leaving their homes for work and other needs is increasing. The rule is exempted for certain individuals including kids under two years and those with medical conditions, among others.
Until now, the health officials in the state had only recommended that Californians wear cloth face coverings, which was not mandatory.
In a statement, the Governor and State Public Health Officer & Director Sonia Angell said people must wear face coverings when they are in the high-risk situations. These include indoor public space, healthcare services settings, public transportation, workplace, etc.
The order comes as the confirmed coronavirus cases have increased sharply in the state, reaching 167, 233 as of June 18, with 5, 355 deaths.
Newsom noted that the state has limited the spread of the virus and associated hospitalizations and deaths through collective actions, yet there are increased risks.
According to the officials, people who are infected but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic play an important part in community spread, and the use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets.
The officials added that the new order for face masks does not substitute for existing guidance about social distancing and handwashing.
Amid the intensifying spread of coronavirus, Governments and major corporates across the world have made it mandatory for people to wear masks, which are scientifically proven to reduce disease transmission.
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