Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new state health guidelines Wednesday that recommends Californians wear two cloth masks or a single filtered mask when in public.
“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, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The governor noted the guidelines apply only to cloth masks and not masks with filters. His remarks come as several states have begun lifting COVID-19 restrictions, including Texas and Mississippi.
Newsom has denounced those efforts, condemning Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to lift mask mandate as “absolutely reckless” in a tweet on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the petition to recall Newsom has exceeded 1.9 million signatures, crossing the 1.5 million threshold to trigger a recall election.
In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study that showed wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask, or a tightly fitted cover is more effective in decreasing the spread of COVID-19. Researchers found that a combination of a cloth mask over a surgical mask (double-masking) stopped particles by over 92 percent.
However, Dr. John Brooks, the study’s lead author, said it is unclear how their recommendations will perform in the natural world because the agency’s findings rely on a controlled laboratory environment.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky also noted that results do not change the agency’s official recommendations “about who should wear a mask or when they should wear one.” (RELATED: White House Announces New CDC Mask Guidance, Three New Mass Vaccination Sites In Texas)
“I want to be clear that these new scientific data released today do not change the specific recommendations about who should wear a mask or when they should wear one, but they do provide new information on why wearing a well-fitting mask is so important to protect you and others,” Walensky said.