State orders people to wear masks in most public spaces

Staff Writer
Taft Midway Driller
Taft City School Board members Les Clark  Jr. and Greg Mudge wearing face masks at board meeting Wednesday night

California on Thursday started requiring people throughout the state to wear masks in most indoor settings and outdoors when distancing isn’t possible as the coronavirus continues to spread.

“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement about the new order. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.”

One local leader said before the order was issued that steps like this are important.

“It’s very important that everybody continues to practice good hygiene, that’s the number one way that this has slowed and the curve has flattened,” Kern County Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop said during a press conference Thursday. “Distancing, masks if you can’t distance. Those are the things that really, that’s the cornerstone of keeping the curve flat and avoiding getting into trouble with our hospitals.”

States including Michigan, New York, Maine, Delaware and Maryland already have statewide mask orders in place.

The order came as California broadly reopens its economy. In most counties, people can now shop, dine in at restaurants, get their hair done and go to church, among other things. As restrictions relax, coronavirus cases are increasing, something the state says was expected as more people get tested. More than 3,400 infected people were hospitalized as of Wednesday, the most since April.