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California Statewide Face Mask Mandate

California Statewide Face Mask Mandate

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Thursday a statewide mandate for the wearing of face coverings or masks in most public places as a means of reducing the spread of COVID-19. This mandate directly applies when indoors with persons outside your household, on public transportation, in healthcare facilities, in workplaces, and in nearly all public settings. While masks are not unanimously required while conducting outdoor activities, they will be if a six-foot distance cannot be maintained.

According to Newsom in his Thursday statement, “Science shows that face coverings and masks work. They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open, and restarting our economy.”

This announcement comes nearly a week after the reopening of many higher-risk businesses throughout the State and the day before nail salons and massage parlors are set to reopen.

Guidelines For When A Mask Must Be Worn

The California Department of Public Health released specific guidelines for when a face covering or mask must be worn. The following guidelines come directly from the CDPH’s website:

  • Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
  • Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when interacting in-person with any member of the public;
  • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time; 
  • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;
  • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;
  • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance;
  • Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended;
  • While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.

Exemptions To Face Mask Wearing

Exemptions apply for a number of individuals in relation to face coverings and masks. These exemptions include:

  • Children under the age of two;
  • Persons with medical conditions or disabilities;
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, persons that are obtaining a service that involves the temporary removal of the mask so that the nose or face can be accessed;
  • Persons you are seated at a restaurant or bar while they are eating or drinking;
  • Persons that are engaged in outdoor activities and able to maintain a six-foot distance from others; and
  • Persons who are incarcerated.

To view the full list of guidelines, please visit the CDPH’s website here: Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings


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About The Author

Rachel Lee Perez

Rachel Lee Perez is our Contributing Staff Writer. Rachel is a two-time published author of the books Happily Ever Afterlife and Home. She is also a podcaster, paralegal, dance instructor, and passionate Elk Grove City resident. When she is not attending fun Elk Grove events, you can usually find her at home watching history documentaries, catching up on true crime podcasts, or diving into a good book.

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