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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2020

Orange, Calif. —​ Today the Orange County Board of Supervisors passed a measure requiring face masks for essential business workers in markets, pharmacies, and other businesses that interact closely with the public. The order only applies to businesses that interact with the public, and does not require customers to wear masks.

Responding to the Board’s vote, Democratic Party of Orange County Chair Ada Briceño released the following statement:

“COVID-19 is a lethal and highly contagious disease with no cure. Until today, the Board left vulnerable essential workers and customers at grave risk. This is a good step forward and we applaud it, but it still leaves many Orange County residents in danger.

We urge the public to wear face masks while shopping, to help save the lives of workers and other customers. We must do all we can. Thank you to everyone who spoke out for public health. Let’s continue to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Orange County.”

The action follows ​recent pressure​ by the Democratic Party of Orange County and a bipartisan petition​ and ​public pressure​ campaign led by Ocean View School District President Gina Clayton-Tarvin.

“As Mayor of the first city in Orange County to declare a state of emergency for COVID-19, I take our public health seriously,” said Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley. “This step today will help reduce confusion for residents and businesses because it creates a uniform standard for all cities. We must work together to solve this public health crisis.”

Local leaders had reported to the Democratic Party that the Board’s lack of consistent face mask provisions led to a chaotic patchwork of provisions among area cities.

Until today’s vote, Orange County was the sole county jurisdiction in Southern California not to issue a mandatory countywide face mask order. Face masks are required in essential businesses in Los Angeles County, San Diego County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County. Face masks are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health.

About the Democratic Party of Orange County

Once famously known as “Reagan country,” after President Reagan called Orange County the place where “all good Republicans go to die,” Orange County is rapidly shifting from a Republican stronghold into a highly diverse Democratic metropolis.

In January of 2020 Democratic Party of Orange County Chair ​Ada Briceno​ released the party’s 2019 Year in Review​, showing advancements in fundraising and grassroots organizing.

Democrats ​swept all seven Congressional seats in Orange County in 2018​ and less than a year later, overtook countywide voter registration to become the region’s leading political party. Today, less than a year after flipping Orange County’s voter registration, Democrats have gained a ​2-point voter advantage over the GOP​.

The Democratic Party of Orange County is the official organization for Democrats in California’s third-largest (and America’s sixth-largest) county, of 3.2 million residents. With more than 598,851 registered Democrats, Orange County has a larger voter base than many U.S. states.

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Media Contact: ​​Rachel Potucek, rachel@ocdemocrats.org

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