FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The Trader Joe’s grocery store in north Fresno was forced to temporarily close Saturday after a group of people taking part in a “Burn the Mask” protest blocked the entrance.

The group held signs calling for Gov. Gavin Newsom to be recalled and protested against the store’s policy requiring face masks to be worn inside.

Fresno Police officers had responded for crowd control following reports that the protesters were possibly blocking the entrances to the store during their protest.

Studies on COVID-19 and other germs show wearing a mask helps stop infected people from spreading disease to others. Evidence also suggests that masks may offer some protection for the people wearing them.

The virus spreads from droplets people spray when they cough, sneeze or talk. Surgical or cloth face masks can block most of those particles from spreading.

While some droplets may still spread out, wearing a mask could reduce the amount, providing a benefit to others. Research shows people don’t get as sick when exposed to smaller amounts of virus, said Dr. Monica Gandhi, a virus expert at University of California, San Francisco.

And masks may protect the people wearing them by reducing the amount of droplets from others that might make contact with them.

Research on a different coronavirus has also found low infection rates among people who frequently wore masks in public.

Experts say masks are particularly important with the new coronavirus because infected people can be contagious even if they don’t have symptoms.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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