Reopening San Diego

Tweet From Governor's Office Says to Put Mask On In Between Bites

The tweet says restaurant guests should wear their mask in between bites, but also says patrons should limit the number of times they take off their masks while seated

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A tweet from Governor Gavin Newsom's office urges restaurant customers to cover their faces “between bites,” but it also advises Californians to try and minimize the number of times they take off their mask at the table.

Some are finding the mixed messaging to be a little confusing.

Diners at the Old California Restaurant Row in San Marcos reacted to the tweet with a fair amount of chuckles and criticism.

“Take the mask off, put the mask on, take the mask off, put the mask on, take the mask off. That just seems ludicrous to me,” restaurant guest Jennifer Overman said.

Overman said her sister, who lives outside Washington D.C. was teasing her about the tweet.

“I simply told her that what we do is we eat everything in one bite so we only have to take the mask off once,” she said.

In August, a CDC study indicated adult restaurant patrons are more likely to contract COVID-19 than those who don't eat out. Overman said it sounds like a stretch.

“I just find it hard to believe there is a difference between going to a restaurant and going grocery shopping or going to some of the major box stores."

Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe said close encounters with strangers are more significant than the place.

“If it is people not within your bubble you are definitely increasing your risk of exposure and, of course, your risk of becoming sick."

San Diego County's public health order requires masks to be warn inside restaurants, but not while you're enjoying a meal.

While the tweet in question came from the Governor's office, don't expect a health code rule change in San Diego County anytime soon.

“I don't mean any disrespect here, but we just have to marry what is practical with the associated risk,” San Diego County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said at Wednesday’s weekly coronavirus briefing.

NBC 7 reached out to the Governor's press office and the state’s Department of Public Health for more clarification on the tweet but has not heard back.

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