[guest post by Dana]
From the Los Angeles Times:
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered all Californians to wear face coverings while in public or high-risk settings, including when shopping, taking public transit or seeking medical care, following growing concerns that an increase in coronavirus cases has been caused by residents failing to voluntarily take that precaution.
The state mandate exempts children 2 years old and under and people with a medical, mental health or developmental disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering. Restaurant customers are also exempt when eating and drinking, as are residents recreating outdoors as long as they are able to socially distance from others.
Face coverings also are not required for the hearing impaired, or those communicating with them, or for workers whose health may be put at risk or may need to temporarily remove a mask to perform a task or service.
Masks must be worn by Californians in their workplace, when serving customers or any member of the public, by all food service workers, when working or walking through hallways and parking facilities and when riding on elevators, according to the order. People who drive buses, taxis, ride-hailing vehicles or any other service that accepts passengers also must wear masks.
Apparently the state is still trying to figure out how to enforce the mandate:
The Newsom administration did not address how the new requirement will be enforced or if Californians who violate the order will be subject to citations or other penalties.
If there’s no real teeth to the order, then why would those currently opposed to wearing a mask (because they believe it infringes on their civil liberties) decide to start wearing one? I don’t see that happening. I’m okay with wearing a mask when in public because it’s not just a courtesy to those around me, but it if can help spread the rate of infection, why the heck wouldn’t I wear one? It doesn’t cost me a thing to put it on.
And there is more confirmation that wearing a mask helps slow the risk of transmission of the virus:
A recent study from Germany found that face masks reduce the daily growth rate of reported infections by around 40%. Another study, published Thursday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded that “wearing of face masks in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent interhuman transmission.”
Anyway, here are the most recent Covid-19 numbers for California:
California reported 4,291 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a new single-day record and the first time the state has broken the 4,000 barrier since the pandemic began, according to The Times’ coronavirus tracker.
Most of those — 2,129 — were in Los Angeles County, which continues to be the epicenter of the Golden State’s outbreak. Health officials said the total, a single-day high for the county, was fueled by a backlog of test results that accounted for roughly 600 of the new cases.
I also heard on the news that a California Facebook group is campaigning against wearing a mask by calling on all Californians to go “A Day Without A Mask”.