California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a mandate Thursday requiring state residents to wear face coverings in public areas, including when shopping or riding public transportation. It makes exceptions for children under two years old and those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. The order comes a day after the state saw a record spike in new coronavirus cases, and a week after Orange County issued its own mask mandate.
California joins 14 other states to mandate masks. “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 Thursday. “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.”