SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — California health officials said Wednesday while face masks can serve as additional protection against coronavirus, they should not be used to replace social distancing measures.

“They are not a substitute for physical distancing. They are not a substitute for a stay at home order,” Newsom said. “They are not a call to get folks to find N95 masks or surgical masks and pull them away or complete against our first responders, our front line employees within our hospital system or care system.”

State Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angel reiterated the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to abide by the plans already put in place: wash your hands, practice physical distancing, and staying at home.

While she acknowledged the benefits of face coverings, she also said they tend to make people feel like they are immune or like they can get closer to other people.

“We don’t want people to have a false sense of security with these face masks,” Dr. Angel said.

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