This State Just Made a Major Change After a Record Coronavirus Spike
The new mandate will hopefully keep an outbreak from developing—without returning to lockdown.
As states around the country come to terms with reopening and the potential spike in coronavirus cases that can follow, officials are struggling with different approaches to tackle the problem. Take California, for example. On Wednesday, the state reported 4,200 new COVID-19 cases, a record-high in a single day since the pandemic began. As a result, Gov. Gavin Newsom took action, announcing a major policy change in mandating all residents to wear face masks in public.
The updated guidelines from the California Department of Public Health require citizens to don masks in most indoor settings and at any outdoor venues when social distancing is not possible. Anyone riding public transportation or traveling in a ride share vehicle is also required to cover their face, as well as any workers who must interact with the public.
The new ordinance comes as face coverings are becoming increasingly politicized, despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "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 decision appears to be based on the advice of medical experts who have continuously made the argument that another lockdown and second wave of infections can be avoided entirely by wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. "Science shows that face coverings and masks works," Newsom also said in the statement. "They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open, and restarting our economy." And for more on where you're legally required to cover up, check out The 10 States With the Strictest Face Mask Laws.