Flash Report: Masks Now Required Everywhere in California

California Governor Gavin Newsom is ordering Californians to wear face coverings in most indoor settings – including offices and clients calls – and many outdoor ones. New guidance from the California Department of Public Health outlines when masks or cloth face coverings are required to assist in limiting the spread of the coronavirus that came from China.

CDPH guidance holds that: 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;
  • 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.

Additionally, masks are required when operating a public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or ride-share vehicle when passengers are present and CDPH recommends then even when driving solo. Masks are also required in outdoor public spaces if 6 feet of physical separation is not possible.

Exemptions

Under the guidance, a face covering is not required for:

  • 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.

Existing guidelines about social distancing and frequent handwashing remain in effect.

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