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New state health guidelines announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday recommend that Californians wear two cloth masks or one filtered mask when going out in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
That’s a more rigorous safety precaution than the Newsom administration announced in June when it handed down a statewide order directing people to wear face coverings in indoor public settings.
“We are encouraging people basically to double down on mask wearing, particularly in light of all what I would argue is bad information coming from at least four states in this country. We will not be walking down their path, we’re mindful of your health and our future,” Newsom said.
The new guidelines apply to cloth masks, not masks with filters, Newsom said.
The remarks come as the governors of several states, including Texas and Mississippi, announced that they were lifting, or planned to lift soon, mandates to wear a mask in public to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Newsom has been critical of that approach, calling it “absolutely reckless” in a tweet sent Tuesday afternoon.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has recommended wearing two cloth masks since at least January, saying on NBC’s Today that doubling up reduces the risk of virus spread, including against variant strains of the coronavirus.
“It just makes common sense that it would be more effective,” he said at the time.