‘They are critical’: Gov. Newsom issues order requiring Californians to wear face masks in public

California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has a message for Californians regarding the use of face masks.

As part of an order announced on Thursday, he is requiring residents to cover their nose and mouth when in public in a continuing effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Washington Examiner reports.

“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Newsom said, according to the Examiner. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open, and restarting our economy.”

“Too many people with faces uncovered”

The safety measure had been a mere advisory until the governor observed that too many residents were not following the recommendations.

“Simply put, we were seeing too many people with faces uncovered — putting a risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease,” Newsom said, according to KTLA. “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.”

The order only requires people to wear masks while inside public establishments and outdoors when distancing is not possible. Some exceptions include eateries, which will not require a mask for customers as long as they maintain six feet of distance, according to Fox News.

Violation of the order could result in fines and even a misdemeanor charge, a state spokesperson said, according to KTLA.

A difference of opinion

Not everyone in the state — as among Americans in general — is on board with the mandate, however, with Republicans less likely to support wearing masks than Democrats.

In the more conservative Orange County, a public health officer resigned last week after receiving threats over her order requiring residents to use a mask in public.

Los Angeles County, however, already required masks, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, was seen with his face covered as he kneeled in solidarity with local protesters, as the Los Angeles Times noted.

The governor’s order came as the state recorded its largest single-day increase in coronavirus infections, led by Los Angeles County, according to CNBC.

It is clear that this pandemic is still impacting almost every aspect of life in America and in many areas of the world. Unfortunately, there remains no consensus regarding the most effective way to safely reintroduce the basic freedoms most people took for granted before months of economic shutdowns.

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