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California Issues Statewide Mask Mandate As Coronavirus Cases Spike Amid Reopening

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Californians are now being required to wear masks statewide, according to new guidance released on Thursday by the public health department.

The requirement means everyone across the state are being mandated to wear face coverings when outside their home.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said, in a statement, that he took the action because not enough people were choosing to wear masks in public - despite the urging of health officials that face coverings will help stop the spread of coronavirus.

"Simply put, we are seeing too many people with faces uncovered – putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease," Newsom said.

California, which has started to move into phase three of reopening, has started to see a new spike in confirmed coronavirus cases. On Wednesday, the state set a record of more than 4,100 new confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The mandate is similar to those already enacted by different jurisdictions across the state. Mainly, people will need to wear a mask when in a situation where social distancing isn't possible.

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This means that people are being required to wear masks when entering any indoor public space (like a grocery store or picking up food from a restaurant), going to the doctor's or dentist's office and taking public transportation, among other situations.

Children under two and people with certain medical conditions are among those exempt from having to wear a mask.

People who are outside exercising also do not need to wear a mask, but health officials say they should keep a face covering handy in case they get into a situation where social distancing isn't possible.

Diners sitting at restaurants also don't need to wear masks under the mandate, as long as other parties are sitting at least six feet away.

Read the full mask requirement breakdown at the public health department's website.

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