Governor Newsom authorized a new statewide COVID-19 facial mask mandate that mirrors Cathedral City’s Emergency Order 3B (Facial Coverings and Social Distancing) due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
The new mandate requires the use of facial coverings in all public places with the following exceptions:
- Persons in a car alone or solely with members of their own household.
- Persons who are working in an office or in a room alone.
- Persons who are actively 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 outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must 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 their household.
- 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.
- Workers who are required to wear respiratory protection.
- Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.
The following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:
- Persons younger than two years old. These very young children must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. Such conditions are rare.
- 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.
Note: Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.
The State of California is leaving enforcement action up to local jurisdictions. In Cathedral City, Emergency Order 3B stipulates that a violation of the facial covering/social distancing order is a fine of $100 for the first violation, $200 for a second violation, and $500 for each violation thereafter.
According to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, “face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of the virus.”
Mayo Clinic Tips on How to Wear a Mask:
- Wash or sanitize your hands before and after putting on and taking off your mask.
- Place your mask over your mouth and nose.
- Tie it behind your head or use ear loops and make sure it’s snug.
- Don’t touch your mask while wearing it.
- If you accidentally touch your mask, wash or sanitize your hands.
- If your mask becomes wet or dirty, switch to a clean one. Put the used mask in a sealable bag until you can wash it.
- Remove the mask by untying it or lifting off the ear loops without touching the front of the mask or your face.
- Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
- Regularly wash your mask with soap and water by hand or in the washing machine. It’s fine to launder it with other clothes.
All of us must do our part to slow the spread until the promising new vaccines are readily available and distributed to the public at large.
Governor’s Mask Order: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx
Cathedral City’s Emergency Order 3B: https://www.discovercathedralcity.com/cathedral-city-extends-face-coverings-and-social-distancing-mandate-through-the-end-of-the-year/