SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s leaning toward implementing a statewide mandate to require face coverings in public but most Bay Area counties and cities are a step ahead, putting an order in place to make it a requirement by midnight Friday.
As of 11:59 on April 17, San Francisco and Alameda counties join Sonoma County in implementing a public order to require face coverings. Marin and Contra Costa counties will do the same on Wednesday, giving their residents time to obtain the masks they need.READ MORE: Hero Police Dog Saves Fresno Officer's Life Despite Being Stabbed 6 Times
“Anytime you’re leaving your home and going somewhere where you will be exposed to other individuals you do not live with, you should be wearing a face covering,” said Laine Hendricks, public information officer with Marin County.
In Alameda, many shoppers already came prepared with their masks.
“If it’s going to help the situation, let’s do it,” said Pepper, an Oakland resident.
“It’s like take all the precautions, it’s better safe than sorry. Take affirmative steps,” Lele Yutzy, from Alameda, added.
But Ezra Mandolph who wasn’t wearing a mask said he doesn’t plan on getting one.READ MORE: Brother Joins Public Outcry Calling For Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli To Step Down
“I’m just trying to look at it and think about it more positively. I’m not really indulging in the fear-mongering or any of that,” Mandolph said.
County health officials throughout the Bay Area say face coverings are essential to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“Individuals may be contagious before they start showing symptoms so, by that preventative use of wearing a mask, we potentially stop that spread even further,” Hendricks said.
The hope is widespread compliance of this face covering order will allow the state to lift the more restrictive measures that are in place now. If that’s the case, many say they are definitely on board.
“The more precautions we take — like wearing the face mask — the quicker it can happen, the quicker it can be lifted,” said Alameda resident Roxanne Wang.MORE NEWS: Lafayette to Consider Making Stop Sign Bird Houses Public Art Over Objections
Many stores in the Bay Area have sold out of masks but health officials say any light cloth or fabric will work. If you are caught without a mask, you could face a fine, jail time or both.