The California Department of Public Health and California Governor are implementing three new mandates to combat COVID-19 cases.
Due to a 47% increase in the seven-day average case rate since Thanksgiving, and a 14% increase in hospitalizations, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health are implementing several new mandates for the next four weeks. There is also concern of the new Omicron variant, which is likely to spread easier than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Effective December 15, 2021 until January 15, 2022, masks will be required within all indoor public spaces. This new mandate supersedes all prior face covering guidance.
Surgical masks or high-level respirators are recommended. The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:
- Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
Additionally, those who attend indoor mega events will be required to show proof of full vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test within one day (antigen) or two days (PCR). A mega event is defined by 1,000+ people indoors or 10,000+ people outdoors. Entry to outdoor events will not require proof of a negative test, but it is still recommended.
Finally, the CDC and California Department of Public Health are asking travelers returning to California to get tested within 3-5 days upon returning, and to self-isolate if experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.