Gov. Gavin Newsom said he plans to issue state regulations on Wednesday regarding the implementation of California’s mandate that people cover their faces while in public or high-risk settings.
During his press conference Tuesday, Newsom hinted that he will count on local municipalities to enforce the state mask order, which was issued on June 18.
“We will do more to focus on law enforcement in this state,” Newsom said. “The application comes in many different forms. Mainly local application.
Newsom said the state has financial resources to speed up enforcement of the order in counties or cities where local officials choose not to comply.
“We have conditioned $ 2.5 billion in our state budget to apply the spirit and letter of the law when it comes to county-level health directives,” Newsom said. “If local officials are unwilling to enforce and are derogatory, we will condition the distribution of those dollars. Again, $ 2.5 billion. “
Newsom said it is no coincidence that the state is stepping up its plans to enforce the mask order before the July 4 holiday weekend, as state officials are particularly concerned about the spread and transmission of COVID-19 in family gatherings.
The governor said people tend to “let their guard down” in the presence of his extended family and expressed concern about the potential for an increase in positive tests after a weekend where people will gather.
“We are going to have to do more to express our concern about that, send more messages about the seriousness of facial covers and physical distancing and be a little more aggressive about the guidelines for July 4,” Newsom said.
Citing data compiled by the California Department of Public Health, Newsom said the positivity rate for coronavirus testing in California increased from 4.4% two weeks ago to 5.6% in the past 14 days. He also noted that the positivity rate has risen to 5.9% in the past seven days, and said he hopes to add four counties to the 19 that are already on a state watch list soon.
Newsom said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will also play a role in the state’s enforcement of the mask order.
“There are financial conditions, there is regulatory oversight, there is code oversight, all of those things are part of our overall efforts,” Newsom said. “OSHA is now very active in this space. Control of alcoholic beverages is very active in this space and a few moments ago, tomorrow we will make a more formal and detailed announcement on the application of the law. ”