California residents are required to wear masks in public places
California authorities began demanding that people all over the state, in most rooms and on the street, when social distance is not possible, wear masks as the coronavirus continues to spread. Writes about it New York Post.
"Research shows that face masks work," said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are critical to keeping those around you safe, keeping business and restarting our economy.”
States, including Michigan, New York, Maine, Delaware, and Maryland, already have similar directives.
The decree was passed as California relaxes quarantine restrictions. In most counties, people can now shop, dine in restaurants, visit beauty parlors, and go to church. As the restrictions ease, the number of coronavirus cases is on the rise, which authorities said was expected as more people get tested. On Wednesday, June 17, more than 3400 infected were hospitalized - a new anti-record.
According to the decree, people must wear masks while inside the building or in a queue, in any public places, in medical facilities such as hospitals and pharmacies, while waiting or traveling by public transport, as well as in the open air, where it is impossible to be at a distance of six feet (1,8 m) from other people.
Earlier, the Democratic governor allowed the local authorities to decide for themselves whether mandatory wear of masks should be introduced, and this problem has become politically dangerous, as some Americans refuse to do so. Newsom said he issued a decree because too many people go outside without masks, which is dangerous because enterprises, restaurants and other sectors of the economy are reopening.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Health in Orange County, Southern California, resigned when she was threatened by her decree that people wear masks, and the county sheriff said he would not apply the decree. Los Angeles County requires people to wear masks outside their homes, as are San Francisco and Santa Clara counties.
Republican MP James Gallagher said he prefers the locals to make their own decisions and criticized Newsom for constantly changing his mind about who should set the rules for the virus.
“The governor doesn't seem to be able to decide whether the counties can decide for themselves during this pandemic. Perhaps if his leadership had been clearer, Californians would have been better prepared, ”Gallagher said.
Dr. Clayton Chow said that Orange County is still reviewing a state decree that will replace its own.
Kate Folmar, spokeswoman for the California Department of Health and Human Services, said violating this decree could lead to charges of misconduct, fines, or other punishments.
But Mark Gali, the secretary of the department, said the department did not want to focus on law enforcement and expects that most Californians will obey the decree.
“We believe that a sufficient number of Californians will see this recommendation and implement it, which will allow us to significantly affect the spread of the virus if we do it collectively,” he said.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes believes this is a matter of individual responsibility, not law enforcement.
“The residents of the district will continue to use common sense to benefit their own health, as well as the collective health of other residents of the district,” he said.
Katrina Fowley, Mayor of Costa Mesa in Orange County, said the state’s decision would relieve pressure from the business as it became clear that masks were needed. Her city already has a requirement to wear face masks.
“Nobody wants to arrest people for not wearing masks. We just want everyone to take care of the others, so that people don't die, ”she said.
The decree also applies to workplaces where people interact with the public, prepare or pack food and share common areas, such as corridors and elevators. Office workers should wear masks if they cannot physically distance themselves.
There are several exceptions to the decree, including for outdoor activities and activities such as walking, hiking, jogging or cycling. But if people cannot be six feet apart, they should wear masks.
Other exceptions include: children 2 years of age and younger; people with diseases that prevent them from wearing masks; deaf or with a certain hearing loss, as well as those who communicate with them; people receiving treatment. There is also an exception if wearing a face cover violates safety rules at the workplace.
Restaurant visitors do not need to wear masks when they eat and drink if they are six feet apart.
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