Category Archives: Face coverings

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.

Face Coverings Now Mandatory In CA, State Says

Californians must now wear face coverings in public spaces, no matter the county you live in.

Gov. Gavin Newsom now says face coverings are mandatory in the state of California.
Gov. Gavin Newsom now says face coverings are mandatory in the state of California.
Patch, by Renee Schiavone, June 18, 2020

CALIFORNIA — The debate at the county level about whether face coverings should be mandatory or not appears to be over for now, as California officials announced Thursday that the masks are now required in all public places. The requirement is effective immediately.

Click to view the 18 June 2020 CA Guidance order requiring Face Coverings

“Californians are now required to wear face coverings in public spaces – particularly indoors or when physical distancing is not possible,” the governor’s office said in a tweet.

The state’s health and human services agency said cloth face coverings “help reduce the spread of coronavirus especially when combined with physical distancing and frequent hand washing.”

There are some exemptions, including for those under 2 years old, those who need to communicate via sign language and those seated at a restaurant.

The state’s 58 counties had previously been allowed to make the decision on face covering requirements locally. Orange County had been in the headlines most recently, downgrading their requirement to a “recommendation.” Other counties in the Bay Area have had a face covering mandate in place for months.

The state’s 58 counties had previously been allowed to make the decision on face covering requirements locally. Orange County had been in the headlines most recently, downgrading their requirement to a “recommendation.” Other counties in the Bay Area have had a face covering mandate in place for months.  [Editor: CORRECTION – Solano County is the one Bay Area County that does NOT have a mandatory face covering order. – R.S.]

The state listed certain “high risk” situations where the coverings are mandatory:

  • Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings including, but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank;
  • Waiting for or riding on public transportation or paratransit or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • Engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
    • Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
    • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;
    • Working in any space 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;
    • In any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.
  • Driving or operating any public transportation or paratransit vehicle, taxi, or private car service or ride-sharing vehicle when passengers are present. When no passengers are present, face coverings are strongly recommended.
  • While outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of six feet from persons who are not members of the same household or residence is not feasible.

The following individuals are exempt from wearing a face covering, according to the state:

  • Children aged two and under;
  • Persons with a medical, mental health, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
  • 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.
  • 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;
  • Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are 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 engaged in outdoor work or recreation such as swimming, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running, when alone or with household members, and when they are able to maintain a distance of at least six feet from others;
  • Persons who are incarcerated. Prisons and jails, as part of their mitigation plans, will have specific guidance on the wearing of face coverings of masks for both inmates and staff.

Learn more about the guidance and limited exceptions here.

Click to view the 18 June 2020 CA Guidance order requiring Face Coverings

Don’t want to wear a mask? (update: DON’T) Come to Benicia!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: See Benicia City Council adopts mandatory face mask order, June 17, 2020


Want to open your business to customers without masks?  Good thing your store is here in Benicia!

By Roger Straw, May 28, 2020

As COVID-19 deaths topped 100,000 in the US, and on the same day that our sister city Vallejo ratified an emergency order requiring the mandatory wearing of face coverings in enclosed public spaces, Benicia’s City Council, after 4 ½ hours of contemplation,  decided to leave it up to you.

Gee, that’s nice.

Well, hold on a minute – the City RECOMMENDS that masks be worn in enclosed spaces.  And officially, we abide by the Solano County guidelines, that STRONGLY recommend face coverings.

But for now there’s no order, no mandate, no requirement – wear one or don’t!  And if the store you want to shop at requires face coverings, sniff around – you can probably get by without a mask at some other store here in good ol’ business-friendly Benicia.

Business owners can decide for themselves whether to require masks.

Oh but not so fast, business owners: Prepare to be “educated” into requiring masks in your facility.  As Vice Mayor Christina Strawbridge said at the Council meeting: “I believe the City’s attempt to educate rather than legislate will be the best solution.”

Um, what’s wrong with educate AND legislate??  Seems a good way to get more compliance.

As for me, for now I think I’ll shop in Vallejo.

Here’s the Benicia City Council on May 26, hearing from a bazillion residents begging for a mandatory face covering order and deciding to do, well, basically nothing.  (Warning – 4 ½ hours long!)