California Issues Statewide Order to Wear Face Coverings in Public or High-Risk Settings
On June 18, 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an order requiring Californians to wear face coverings while in various public or high-risk settings—including when shopping, taking public transit or seeking medical care.
The order comes following growing concerns from public health officials that recent spikes in COVID-19 cases are related to residents not taking the proper precautions to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Review the following guidance for further information on when face coverings are required and exemptions to the order.
When Are Face Coverings Required?
The order requires Californians to wear face coverings in the following public or high-risk settings:
- When congregating in outdoor spaces with members of the public and social distancing is not feasible
- While inside of or in line to enter any indoor public space (e.g., a shopping mall)
- When obtaining medical services
- While waiting for or riding public transportation—including taxis, private car services and ride-sharing vehicles
- When operating any public transportation vehicle while passengers are present
- While conducting work-related activities, such as the following:
- Interacting with members of the public for work purposes
- Working in a space that members of the public visit—even if no one is present at the time
- Working in any area where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution
- Working within or walking through common areas (e.g., hallways, stairwells, elevators or parking facilities)
- Working within a room or enclosed space where other people (with the exception of members from the individual’s household) are present and not able to social distance
Exemptions to the Order
Californians are exempt from the order in the following circumstances:
- If the individual is under the age of 2
- If the individual has a medical condition, mental health concern or disability that prevents them from being able to wear a face covering
- If the individual is hearing-impaired, communicating with a person who is hearing-impaired or in any other circumstance where seeing the individual’s mouth is essential for communication purposes
- If wearing the face covering would create additional risks related to the individual’s work (based on local, state and federal workplace health and safety guidelines)
- If the individual is obtaining a service involving the face or nose and temporary removal of their face covering is needed to perform the service
- If the individual is dining at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or drink services and is able to socially distance from members of public
- If the individual is engaged in outdoor work or recreational activities and is able to socially distance from members of the public
- If the individual is incarcerated (prisons and jails will utilize specific guidance on face-covering requirements for inmates)
Newsom emphasized that this order is not a substitute for existing COVID-19 prevention guidance, such as social distancing and hand-washing. Newsom’s administration has not yet addressed how the order will be enforced or whether Californians who disobey the order will face citations or other penalties.
Source – Zywave, Inc.