California Governor Gavin Newsom is Now Mandating Masks in Public

Published on June 18, 2020

Not everyone in California is being responsible when it comes to wearing masks. Especially in the suburbs surrounding Los Angeles, the lack of masks in sight is terrifying. Some states are leaving it to mayors to decide on making masks mandatory. Governor Gavin Newsom, on the other hand, has now made masks mandatory. Why it took this long is another question. 

A New Order

The new order from Newsom is much needed. Even though bars, gyms, and restaurants are now open, masks are still a must. According to the Department of Public Health, the order is to prevent infected but symptomless people from spreading the virus. So far, there have been over 160,000 cases of the coronavirus and 5,000 deaths in the state of California. Los Angeles, in particular, has been a hotspot in the United States for months. 

New Rules

Masks are mandatory during these instances:

– 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;

– While engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:

a. Interacting in-person with any member of the public;

b. Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;

c. Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;

d. Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;

e. 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.

f. Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.

-While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.


-Children aged two and under

-Persons with a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering

-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.

What Else to Know

The mandate comes after Newsom acknowledged there are too many people walking around without masks. It’s risking the progress already made, says Newsom. Newsom said stopping the spread is the only way to restart the economy and get people back to work. Newsom stresses in addition to keeping masks on, keep washing hands, stop touching your face, and maintain social distancing.

A part of the problem, of course, are inconsiderate people. On top of that, with the opening of bars, restaurants, gyms, and other social spots, some California residents appear to be forgetting a serious pandemic is happening. As rules loosen, so does the attitude towards the coronavirus. It’s been uncomfortable to witness in Los Angeles. If you see someone not wearing a mask, don’t be afraid to kindly call them out.

Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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