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Governor issues statewide order to wear face coverings

Governor Gavin Newsom issued today a statewide order requiring Californians to wear a face covering in high-risk settings. Riverside County officials urge residents to follow the state’s face covering requirements to curb the recent increase in coronavirus cases, as well as support local reopening efforts.

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

People in California must wear face coverings when they are in the high-risk 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; and 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:

  • Persons age two years or under.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct
    breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.
  • 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 or masks for both inmates and staff.

Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on
the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.

“This pandemic has hit hard all of our communities. But in particular, people of color and vulnerable communities such as seniors, farm workers, and those with compromised immune systems,” said Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor. “We see a rise in positive cases and hospital bed usage in the county but more so in the Coachella Valley. Social distancing, washing our hands, and wearing facial coverings are all simple measures that we can all abide by to protect ourselves and our fellow neighbors. I am happy that our governor has made this decision.”

Face coverings should be washed regularly to keep clean. Public health officials also remind residents to keep six feet of distance between others while in public and to frequently wash their hands. Guidance for the use of face coverings can be found here.

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