CALIFORNIA­—Governor Gavin Newsome announced on Thursday, June 18 that Californians are now required to wear face masks or face coverings in public spaces.

“Over the last four months, we have learned a lot about COVID-19 transmission, most notably that people who are infected but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic play an important part in community spread,” said the California Department of Public Health in a statement. “The use of face coverings by everyone can limit the release of infected droplets when talking, coughing, and/or sneezing, as well as reinforce physical distancing.”

As of Thursday, June 18, there are a total of 161,099 positive cases and 5,290 death with 4,084 new confirmed cases in California. Among all the new cases, more than half of them were reported from Los Angeles County, with 600 results coming in from an earlier testing period, according to the California Department of Public Health.

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, people in most of the high-risk situations listed below need to wear face masks or face coverings:

  • Being in any indoor public places
  • Being in outdoor public areas where people are not able to keep social distance
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector
  • Being on public transportation or paratransit or paratransit vehicle
  • Interacting in-person with any member in the workplace
  • Working in places where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others
  • Working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities
  • Being in an enclosed area where other people are not able to keep social distance

People exempted from wearing face masks including persons age two or under, persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing face masks, and people who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired.

For more detailed information on guidance for the use of face coverings, please visit the California Department of Public Health’s website.