New State Order Requiring Face Masks In Most Public Settings

State public health officials today issued updated guidelines requiring the public to wear face masks or coverings in most instances when they leave their homes.

In a statement issued by the California Department of Health, Governor Gavin Newsom explained why he is issuing this order:

“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”

Governor Newsom also addressed why he took this action now. “Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease. 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.”

Californians must wear face coverings when they are in the situations listed below:

  • 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 six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.

The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering:

  • Children aged two and under;
  • Persons with a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
  • Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
  • Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;
  • Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence;
  • Persons who are engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
  • Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings of masks for both inmates and staff.


  1. Mo from West Anaheim

    Are not our hospitalizations going down? Wasnt this whole lockdown about curbing the scale so that we dont all end up at the hospital at once and over whelm them? The science doesnt match the requirements he is putting in place. Newsome needs to go!

    • Hospitalizations in Orange County have been slowly rising during the pandemic and have not gone down. The most recent figures show 345 people are currently hospitalized with 144 in ICU.

      Case counts and testing figures along with a chart on hospitalizations can be found on the Orange County Health Care Agency website. You can find that site by searching for occovid19.

  2. Kevin Campbell, MD, says evidence that everyone should wear a mask is shaky at best, and that maybe the general public shouldn’t be wasting resources.

    First of all, a COVID-19 exposure is defined as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with an infected person (symptoms or not) that is sustained for at least a few minutes — at least 10 and maybe more. There is very little chance of passing COVID-19 from a passing interaction.

    According to Harvard researchers, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is strongly correlated with the duration and intensity of contact: the risk of transmission among household members can be as high as 40%, whereas the risk of transmission from less intense and less sustained encounters is well below 5%.

  3. It is interesting that the CDC put out this rules about face masks
    • • Proper use of face coverings, including:
    o Face coverings do not protect the wearer and are not personal
    protective equipment (PPE).
    o Face coverings can help protect people near the wearer, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
    o Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
    So if they don’t protect me why would I wear one!

    • Matthew Cunningham

      But if you wear a face mask, then it is OK to totally disregard social distancing requirements…as long as you are clotted together to protest the police. Just ask Councilman Jose F. Moreno, AUHSD Trustee Al Jabbar, AESD Trustee J. Paolo Magcalas and the rest of the comrades.

  4. No one has suggested that is it OK to not socially distance when wearing a mask. It is just more important to have masks in place if you can’t keep a distance. Today, June 19, shows that the OC is at the 2nd highest levels ever recorded in number of new cases of Covid 19 and number hospitalized. When people go to the doctor they usually follow the doctor’s recommendation. We must remain vigilant. Like seat belts, masks may save lives.

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