California requires masks statewide in bid to slow coronavirus spread

OAKLAND — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday he will require masks in most public settings statewide in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19 as new cases rise by thousands daily in the state.

The California Department of Public Health released updated guidance Thursday that requires Californians to wear a face covering in most indoor settings, as well as outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible. Any workers who engage with the public will be required to wear a mask. So will riders of public transit and anyone visiting a health-related office.

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

California, with nearly 40 million residents, becomes the most populous state in the nation to require face coverings. It is the 11th state and first on the West Coast to mandate masks beyond essential workers, according to the National Governors Association.


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