California tightens COVID-19 mask restrictions, face coverings must be worn outdoors at all times

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In an effort to curb the spread of rising COVID-19 cases, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday that California is "pulling the emergency brake" by moving 40 counties back to more restrictive reopening tiers and tightening the face mask rules in the state.

In a new update, people must wear a face covering at all times when outside the home, even if exercising, if they are within 6 feet of others not in their household.

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In 11 of those counties, the state is using what it calls an "emergency brake" dropping the counties two tiers, for example from Orange to the most restrictive, Purple.



The state laid out a few exceptions where individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings in the following specific settings:

  • Persons in a car alone or solely with members of their own household.

  • Persons who are working in an office or in a room alone.

  • Persons who are actively eating or drinking provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.

  • Persons who are outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household.

  • 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.

  • Workers who are required to wear respiratory protection.

  • Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.


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Newsom said the daily case numbers have doubled in the past 10 days, which is the largest increase the state has seen since the pandemic broke out in March.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 17, California records 1,037,978 total novel coronavirus cases and 18,299 related deaths.

MAP: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules


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