California will require people to wear masks in most indoor settings and outdoors when distancing isn't possible under a statewide order issued Thursday.
“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Gov Gavin Newsom said in a statement announcing the order. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”
A number of other states, including Michigan, New York, Maine, Delaware and Maryland already have statewide mask orders in place.
The order comes as California broadly reopens the economy; in most counties, people can now shop, dine in at restaurants, get their hair done and go to church, among other things. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are increasing, something the state says is expected as more people get tested. More than 3,400 people were in the hospital as of Wednesday, the most patients hospitalized since April.
The order will require people to wear masks when inside or in line for any indoor public spaces, in health care settings like hospitals and pharmacies, while waiting for or riding public transportation and in outdoor spaces where its not possible to stay six feet (1.8 meters) apart from other people.