California Governor Gavin Newsom implored people Monday to wear face coverings to protect against the coronavirus and allow businesses to safely open after several days in which the state saw its highest virus hospitalizations and number of infections to date.
In a bid to reach not only supporters but also his critics, Newsom released a video campaign promoting the use of masks featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and three other former California governors. Newsom touted the importance of opening businesses to ensure the health of California’s economy while warning that if health conditions grow dire, the state could be forced to shut down businesses again.
Californians are now required to wear facial coverings in most indoor settings and outdoors when it is not possible to stay six feet apart. There are exceptions for children ages 2 and under and people with health conditions.
Masks have become a flash point in many parts of California where some residents demand they be worn to protect their safety while others refuse, saying the requirement violates their personal freedom. Federal and state health officials have recommended wearing facial coverings because the coronavirus spreads through tiny droplets emitted when people speak or cough.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause pneumonia and death.