Mask Mandate Reinstated for All Public Indoor Settings

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With case rates increasing 47% since Thanksgiving, the California Department of Public Health is requiring—effective December 15— universal masking at all public indoor settings to increase protection to individuals, families, and communities during the holiday.

Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by almost half and hospitalizations have increased by 14%. The guidance was issued to slow the spread of both Delta and the highly transmissible Omicron variant in response to the increase in cases and hospitalizations.

The new mandate is effective through January 15, 2022 irrespective of vaccine status. CDPH also updated its requirements for mega events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now require either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.

With the new mandate, travelers arriving in California are advised to test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

“Our collective actions can save lives this holiday season. We are already seeing a higher level of transmission this winter and it is important to act now to prevent overwhelming our busy hospitals so we can provide quality health care to all Californians,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer.  

“All Californians should get vaccinated and receive their booster. Getting your whole family up to date on vaccination is the most important action you can take to get through the pandemic and to protect yourself from serious impacts from the virus and its variants. Testing and masking remain important tools in slowing the spread.”


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