California now requires masks outside of homes, with few exceptions

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California health officials issued updated guidance that requires individuals to wear face coverings when outside of their homes, with few exceptions.

Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the changes in a news conference Monday, when he said he was pulling the “emergency brake” on reopening the state’s economy amid a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Under the updated guidance, individuals do not have to wear face coverings if they are alone in a car or with household members; working alone in an office; must wear respiratory protection; obtaining a service that requires they remove their face covering; actively eating or drinking or are outdoors if more than six feet from non-household members.

Children younger than two years old and individuals with medical or mental health conditions that prevent wearing a face covering are exempt. Individuals who are hearing impaired or are communicating with someone who is are also exempt.

California’s new guidance is in line with what has been recommended in San Diego County.

The state’s previous guidance issued in mid-June required individuals to wear face coverings only when they were in high-risk situations, such as inside of or waiting to enter any public indoor space, outdoors in public spaces and waiting for or taking public transportation.

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