Tag Archives: Mandatory face coverings

REMINDER: Facemasks are mandatory in Benicia…and statewide!

Benicia order in effect as of June 16, California as of June 18

By Roger Straw, July 10, 2020

Face coverings is NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE – it’s for your safety and mine, and for STOPPING the pandemic.

But I see way too many people in public places not wearing face masks.  Yes, right here in Benicia.

On June 16, the Benicia City Council passed Resolution No. 20-78, A Resolution of The City Council Of The City Of Benicia Requiring the Use of Face Coverings in Indoor and Enclosed Public Spaces.  Two days later, the California Department of Public Health issued its mandatory “Guidance For the Use of Face Coverings.”

Both documents spell out circumstances and situations in which face coverings are required, as well as exceptions to the orders.  Today might be a good time to review both, and be prepared when you go out.

Be aware – as of yesterday, we had 409 positive cases of the virus in Solano County, including 40 here in Benicia.  It’s here among us, and it’s incredibly contagious.

I know… we’re all tired of the social distancing and the masks, but we need to maintain our focus to beat this thing.  Let’s all keep our politics – and our aerosol emissions – to ourselves.

Solano County wake up! Gov. Newsom threatens counties that don’t order mandatory masks

Newsom threatens California counties that defy coronavirus rules as cases spike

San Francisco Chronicle, by Alexei Koseff June 24, 2020 
Gov. Gavin Newsom at a news conference in Sacramento on June 5.
Gov. Gavin Newsom at a news conference in Sacramento on June 5. Photo: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom could withhold financial relief from local governments in the upcoming state budget if they do not follow guidelines that he says are necessary to tamp down the spike in coronavirus cases in California.

The budget deal with legislative leaders announced this week ties $750 million in funding to replace lost tax revenue for county services, as well as $1.3 billion for counties and $500 million for cities from the federal bailout package, to local governments’ compliance with the stay-at-home order and other state requirements on the coronavirus response.

Newsom, through his Department of Finance, could order state officials not to send local governments their portion of the money if they do not certify they are following the rules, which include a new mandate for Californians to wear masks nearly everywhere outside the home.

At a news conference Wednesday, the governor said that authority would give him leverage over those who “simply thumb their nose” at state guidelines. He did not specify how cities and counties would be expected to prove their compliance, though he added that he was trying to encourage good behavior rather than punish bad behavior.

“We give an enormous amount of power, control and authority to local government, but what we’re now looking for is accountability,” Newsom said.

Since the state rolled out its requirement for face coverings last week, county sheriffs and local police chiefs from Orange County to Sacramento have announced that they do not plan to enforce the order. The mayor of Nevada City, in Nevada County, encouraged residents to defy the mandate to “prevent all of us from slipping down the nasty slope of tyranny.”

Newsom, who has previously used state regulatory agencies to pressure businesses and local governments that defied his lockdown measures, said Wednesday that the “power of the purse” would give him another tool.

“If counties that have submitted that they need more state money to address this pandemic but are unwilling to enforce the rules and laws related to mitigate that pandemic, it seems not only counterintuitive that you would continue to provide those resources, but actually harmful to the broader effort,” he said.

California reported a record 7,149 new cases of the coronavirus Tuesday, Newsom said, which he attributed not only to an increase in testing but also a rising rate of positive tests. The state has recorded more than 12,000 cases in the past two days.

Hospitalizations of coronavirus patients have grown by 29% over the past two weeks, to 4,095, though the governor noted that is only a fraction of the state’s capacity.

Newsom blamed the spread on more Californians venturing out of their homes to visit family and friends, which he suggested was threatening the ability of the state to continue reopening its economy.

“Many of us, understandably, developed a little cabin fever. Some, I would argue, have developed a little amnesia. Others have just, frankly, taken down their guard,” he said. “It is our behaviors that are leading to these numbers, and we are putting people’s lives at risk.”

Earlier this week, Newsom acknowledged that he might have to shut down businesses again if the state loses control of its coronavirus outbreak. He released a video with former governors Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis and Pete Wilson encouraging the public to wear masks.

On Wednesday, Newsom pleaded with the public to continue washing their hands, wearing face coverings and avoiding large crowds and intimate gatherings.

“Consider others in your life and strangers. Love thy neighbors like yourself,” he said. “If you cannot practice physical distancing, then are you practicing love?”

Coronavirus: Here’s who has to wear a mask in California and when

Exceptions include kids under 2 and those exercising outdoors

Vallejo Times-Herald, by Fiona Kelliher, June 19, 2020

Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a new order Thursday mandating that Californians wear masks in most public settings as the state sees an uptick in new coronavirus cases and businesses reopen.

The mandate calls for Californians to cover up while waiting in lines or indoors in public places, in various work settings and while in healthcare facilities. Here are the details:

You must wear a mask when …

  • You’re inside any public space or waiting in line to enter one
  • You’re in any healthcare setting, like a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic or blood bank
  • You’re waiting for or riding on public transportation or while in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle
  • You’re interacting with a member of the public at work, or working in any space visited by the public, even if you’re alone inside the workplace
  • You’re working in a setting where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution
  • You’re working in — or walking through — common areas like hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking lots
  • You’re in any room or enclosed area where other people, except for members of your own household, are present — and physical distancing is difficult
  • You’re driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, private car service or ride-sharing vehicle and other passengers are present
  • You’re outside in a public space and physical distancing isn’t possible

 You don’t have to wear a mask if …

  • You’re a child under the age of 2
  • You have a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a mask
  • You’re hard of hearing or communicating with someone hard of hearing who needs to see your face
  • Wearing a face covering would create a risk related to your work — as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
  • You’re obtaining a service involving the nose or face and need to take off the mask to do so
  • You’re eating at a restaurant, provided you’re at least six feet away from the nearest table
  • You’re swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running outside and able to maintain social distance
  • You’re incarcerated. Prisons and jails will have their own specific guidance on face masks, according to the state

Coronavirus live updates: Solano youth infected at much higher percentage than nationally

3 important stories from the SF Chronicle’s Coronavirus Live Updates

A medical worker collects a sample to test for the coronavirus at CityTestSF in San Francisco. People around the world believe they have gotten sick despite testing negative.

San Francisco Chronicle, by Alejandro Serrano , Anna Bauman , Rita Beamish and Brett Simpson, updated June 18, 2020

7:58 p.m. June 17, 2020 – Solano County case spike reflects ‘preliminarily positive’ data, official says: Solano County reporting 105 new confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday reflects a change in data reporting and a local outbreak among vineyard workers, county public health administrator Jayleen Richards wrote in an email. The new cases marked a 15.2% increase in Solano County’s total. Richards wrote the county has experienced “significant” delays in confirming results from two state-run test sites and has begun considering preliminary positive tests as positive cases in order to begin case investigations. “The data jump should be a one-time event since we started to include the preliminary data today,” Richards wrote. Wednesday’s case total also includes an outbreak among vineyard workers housed in Solano County and working in other counties who were recently tested for the virus, Richards wrote.

12:12 p.m. June 18, 2020 – Californians must wear masks outside home under new state order: People must immediately begin wearing masks outside the home when they cannot safely distance from other people to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, state health officials ordered Thursday, a day after reporting the largest number of new cases in a single day. The Chronicle’s Alexei Koseff reports.

June 18, 2020 1:35 p.m. – Kids and teenagers appear to be less likely to get the coronavirus and get sick than adults: A study recently published in Nature found that those under 20 are half as susceptible to infection as those that age or older, and only one in five between the ages of 10 and 19 show symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the figure of coronavirus-infected kids younger than 18 at more than 90,000, or around 4% of those with the disease. [BenIndy Editor: Compare at 6.6% in Solano County as of June 17.]  See our detailed FAQ on the coronavirus and children for more.