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California issues mandatory mask order amid rising coronavirus cases

Posted at 11:40 PM, Jun 18, 2020

California is now requiring people to wear masks under a statewide order issued Thursday.

The order requires people to wear masks when inside public spaces, in healthcare settings, while waiting for or riding public transportation, and in outdoor spaces where it's not possible to stay six feet apart from others.

California is implementing the new measures the same day it's seen its highest number of new coronavirus infections.

Governor Gavin Newsom's order is a decision that's bringing mixed emotions for those living on the central coast.

"I guess I'm inclined to think it's a good idea," said Jeremy Dickinson, a Nipomo resident.

"Initially, I think it's absurd. I think we're killing our immune system by wearing these masks," said Joshua Fryckman, a Arroyo Grande resident.

San Luis Obispo County didn't have a mask mandate but after the state's order, county officials say they're enforcing it by emphasizing voluntary compliance from the community.

"When I'm out in public, I guess I have to. When I'm at my house I'm not wearing a mask outside. Anybody that comes over my house, my friends, I'm around them all the time, they aren't wearing masks at my house," said Fryckman.

Dr. Eric Sorensen with Central Coast Urgent Care says masks aren't an answer to everything but they are one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"I think it's a legitimate thing that we have. We have very few tools against this virus and that's one of them that seems to work, as far as the spread goes," said Dr. Sorensen.

Dr. Sorensen goes on to say the real benefit of a mask is to prevent an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.

"I guess it's to protect other people from me, that's the main reason I do it," said Dicksinson.

The state order does exempt outdoor work and recreation when people can keep their distance.

The order also exempts those under the age of 2 and people with medical conditions or disabilities that would prevent them from wearing a face covering.