Masks should be a mandatory requirement during the reopening phase in Sacramento, California, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Monday.
“The mask issue has been voluntary in Sacramento County and I understand that. But as we transition, and as we open back up, it is gonna be even more important for us when we are out in public to have that extra layer of protection,” he stated during a Facebook Live video.
Steinberg told viewers that he planned to call on county health officers to change the current order from voluntary to mandatory in the near future.
And to time that mandatory requirement for when we actually begin opening up more broadly. If that’s Friday, if that’s Monday, if that’s next week, I believe that a mandatory mask ought to accompany that opening up because it will allow us to open up faster and maybe, more importantly, it will allow us to continue to be open and to not have that spike which we are also fearful of which we have thus far successfully avoided.
Because the worst scenario would be to open up in a way that was not fully cognizant of the continued risk and then to see a spike, a hospital surge, more people getting sick, more people dying, only to have a stay-at-home order reimposed in an even stricter fashion and for a longer period of time.
April 24, Yolo County officials made it mandatory for residents to wear masks in public or while working at an essential job, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“This order is informed by the Centers for Disease Control, scientific evidence, and best practices regarding the most effective approaches to slow the transmission of communicable diseases, such as COVID-19,” the announcement said.
The order made Yolo County the first in the Sacramento region to require the masks to be worn.
As of Tuesday, Sacramento County recorded 1,133 total cases of the disease and 47 deaths, according to its public health department.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state had 56,212 confirmed cases of the virus and said residents should continue taking the health crisis seriously as the reopening phases began.
“In regions and counties throughout the state of California, we recognize there are different conditions and we believe different criteria should be put into place. This is a very positive sign and it’s happened only for one reason: the data says it can happen,” he noted, adding, “But we recognize, as we begin to modify, behaviors modify and possible community spread may occur.”
“If that’s the case, and we do not have the capacity to control that spread, to trace that spread, to track that spread, to isolate individuals who may have been in contact with COVID-19, we will have to make modifications anew,” Newsom concluded.