California mask mandate won’t be lifted when state’s economy reopens, Newsom says

California’s mask mandate won’t be lifted as the state proceeds to fully reopen the economy on June 15, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

Newsom announced that the state can fully lift coronavirus restrictions if vaccine supply remains sufficient and hospitalizations are low, but indicated masks are still an important tool in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s the most powerful and important non-pharmaceutical intervention we can do to mitigate the spread of this disease,” Newsom said about masks. “We are committed to extinguishing this disease, and we don’t have any short term goals as it relates to lifting the mass mandate.”

The governor’s comments come as states across the country have lifted mask requirements, and are moving forward with fully reopening.

In announcing the retiring of the state’s tiered reopening system, Newsom stressed the importance of remaining vigilant.

“We can confidently say by June 15 that we can start to open up as business as usual, subject to ongoing mask wearing and ongoing vigilance.”

The state’s mandate went into effect last June, when Newsom said “We are seeing too many people with faces uncovered — putting at risk the real progress we have made in fighting the disease.”

Under California’s guidelines, face coverings are required for everyone over the age of 2 in all public and workplace settings.

Exceptions include when working in an office or room alone, while eating or drinking, while outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distance from people outside your household.

Residents are required to have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in your household.

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