The necessity of wearing face covering has been an ongoing argument from the day the COVID-19 crisis started. Most government leaders in the world have mandated the wearing of facemasks in public. Despite constant reminders from health experts about how wearing them help control the spread of the virus, many still doubt whether this rule is legal.

Previously, California had permitted local jurisdictions and counties to develop their own guidelines on using face coverings. However, news agencies reported early today that this privilege has changed.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced yesterday that the state "will require most people to wear face coverings" in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Until today, Yolo County has been requiring the wearing of face masks in public since April. On the other hand, Sacramento County did not have any such rule, although "it strongly encouraged people to put on face coverings while in public."

Later on, reports said, officials of Sacramento County apparently changed the practice this week following an announcement they were taking mask mandate into consideration.

The legality of mandating masks

According to constitutional law expert and University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law professor, Attorney Leslie Jacobs, the government can oblige people to wear a face covering while in public under the present conditions.

There have been several legal challenges to the stay-at-home order of California in recent months. Some people argue that the rules of the state are a "violation of their civil rights."

All of these challenges, Jacobs explained, rely on the situations. The attorney added too, "for emergency orders to hold," there is a need for the government to prove that there is a strong interest to shield the public from this deadly virus and that the way it is enforcing the mandate is vital to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In certain situations, Jacobs continued, the government has proven that the health and stay-at-home mandates in California "do hold."

Health experts favor Newsom's decision

Health experts shared they favor the decision of Gov. Newsom to require the wearing of face covering when in public. They are commending the mandate saying, and it is essential to move safely into California's economy's reopening.

According to the St. Joseph's Medical Center Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Scott Neely, he believes that wearing mask coverings is a very essential part of "practicing safety together."

The main purpose of wearing a face covering is to stop the user from transferring COVID-19 to another person. In addition, a face covering helps stop the infection by catching droplets from the nose and mouth of the user, from turning into airborne.

Dr. Neely also said, "I think we can confidently say" that if all people wear masks in circumstances where they are with other people, there would be a slower spread of the virus, and this "is what we need."

Neely backs the reopening of the economy of California, although with some adjustments to protect the healthcare system of the state from being overburdened with people who are severely ill with COVID-19.

Such modifications, the doctor said, include physical distancing instead of social distancing, which he noted had a remarkable negative effect on the general wellbeing of people, and proper hygiene.

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