The new mask mandate goes into effect on December 15.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced the new mask mandates to respond to increasing cases due to new variants like Omicron.Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced the new directive will start this Wednesday and is currently scheduled to last until January 15, 2022. The state’s per capita rate of new coronavirus cases has increased to 47% in the past two weeks.
However, county governments have been meeting the surging rates by imposing their own indoor mask mandates.
The statewide new mask mandate will now cover everyone. Still, state officials have not clarified whether the order would be enforced.
On Monday, the CDPH’s Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, stated, “We know people are tired and hungry for normalcy. Frankly, I am too. That said, this is a critical time where we have a tool that we know has worked and can work.”
Back on June 15, California had lifted its statewide mask mandate for those who were fully vaccinated, and Newsom heralded this day as the state’s grand reopening.
“We know that there’s going to be people who don’t necessarily agree with this, who are tired, who aren’t going to mask,” Ghaly said. “We hope that those are few and far between, that most people see the purpose of doing this over the next month as something to protect them and their communities during a very tough time.”
California is furthering tackling rising cases by tightening COVID-19 public health procedures:
— CA Public Health (@CAPublicHealth) December 13, 2021
A negative PCR test is required 48 hours before attending an event of 1,000 or more people. Californians could also get an antigen test 24 hours before the event. The state also recommends travelers who visit or return to California get tested within five days of their arrival.
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