The California governor’s office put out a tweet on Saturday advising that restaurant-goers keep their masks on while dining. “Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend?” the tweet reads. “Don’t forget to keep your mask on in between bites. Do your part to keep those around you healthy.”
In California, masks are required for anyone going outside their home, as well as workers in customer-facing businesses, offices, factories, and health care professionals, among others, according to the state’s COVID-19 guidance.
While children under 2 years old and those with breathing troubles or medical exemptions do not need to wear a mask, everyone else is required to wear them in all indoor public places — and also outdoors if keeping 6 feet of social distance with others isn’t possible.
The official guidance does say that masks can be removed for a number of reasons, including eating or drinking. However, the tweet from Governor Gavin Newsom’s office offered somewhat different advice, which confused some Twitter users.
“I’m very confused by this tweet. The image suggests you should only take your mask off once when you begin a meal but the text suggests you should put it back on between bites,” journalist Matthew Fuhrman wrote, referring to the graphic shared in the tweet.
“Should we wash our hands after touching our mask each time we remove it between bites? What if I’m eating chips and salsa and I go for a double dip? Is that technically two bites since it’s the same chip?” another person asked.
“This violates the @WHO ‘Dont’s of Mask wearing,'” another person tweeted, including a graphic from the World Health Organization which advises people to avoid touching their mask as much as possible, and to wash their hands before touching their mask and after discarding it.