California · COVID-19

Newsom remains non-committal on reinstating Calif. mask mandate

During a Tuesday stop to Traver to promote increased investment in broadband internet, Gov. Gavin Newsom was repeatedly pressed about the potential for Southern California mask mandates to evolve into a return of a statewide mandate.

Newsom remained non-committal.

“We’ll see,” Newsom said in response to a question about expanding Los Angeles County’s resumed mask mandates regardless of vaccination status to a statewide level. “Look, at the end of the day the epidemiology, the spread, the variants make that determination.”

The answer didn’t seem to satisfy reporters, prompting a follow-up over whether there was a metric or level that would trigger a mask mandate statewide.

Again, Newsom pivoted to his bigger push: vaccinations.

“If we can get more people vaccinated that answer is unequivocal – we won’t need it,” Newsom said.

In a polemic about media intervention in public health matters, Newsom argued that masking had been “weaponized” and apologized for taking an “indignant” tone.

He did offer a partial answer related to school rules.

“We’re not looking to do any physical distancing, any social distancing. We’re not looking to close anything down. We’re fully committed to getting kids back in school, in-person for instruction. But we need to get more people vaccinated,” Newsom said. 

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.