Public transportation, and several stores, already required people to wear masks while indoors. The new requirement makes mask wearing indoors standard across California.

You might be surprised to learn that the requirement for people to wear masks in all public indoor settings did not come from Governor Gavin Newsom. Instead, it came from The California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Dr. Mark Ghaly is California’s health secretary. The announcement was made on December 13, 2021.

Here is part of it:

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to monitor COVID-19 data in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians. Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by almost half (47%) and hospitalizations have increased by 14%. In response to the increase in cases and hospitalizations, and to slow the spread of both Delta and the highly transmissible Omicron variant, CDPH has issued updated guidance to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

Beginning December 15, CDPH will require masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through January 15, 2022, at which point California will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic…

CDPH website

In addition, there are updated requirements for attending mega events. Read that over again. It says “mega” (as in large) – not “MAGA” (as in Trump). The mega events include concerts and sporting events. CDPH explains: “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.”

CalMatters provided additional information on December 13, 2021. First, it pointed out that this mask mandate for indoor public places in California was issued exactly six months after lifting the previous one. The first statewide mask mandate was imposed in 2020 and lifted last June.

Here are some things to know about the current indoor mask mandate:

  • The mask mandate is specific to public settings, not private gatherings. Health officials recommend people get tested ahead of holiday gatherings and consider better ventilation by opening windows or convening outdoors when possible.
  • The mandate will affect about 50% of the state population that lives in counties that currently don’t have their own mask mandate.
  • Right now, California is not considering further restrictions or capacity limits on businesses, and isn’t going to impose closures.
  • California’s 7-day average case rate (as of December 13, 2021) stood at 14.1 new cases per 100,000 people. On the high end, Riverside and San Diego counties reported rates of 19.8, San Bernardino County is at 22.7, Inyo County 29.4, and Mono County 50.1, according to state data.
  • On the lower end, Los Angeles reported 13.3 new cases per 100,000 and San Francisco and Alameda counties reported rates of 8.5 and 7.6, respectively.
  • As of December 13, 2021, 74,685 Californians have died from COVID-19.

It seems to me that this data emphasizes the reason for the indoor mask mandate. In some parts of California, cases of COVID-19 are rising. One way to stop the spread of the virus is to require people to wear masks when they are indoors. There is a chance that when the case numbers significantly drop – the mask mandate will lift.

Most people, whether vaccinated or not, are physically able to wear a mask for the time it takes to go grocery shopping. Doing so protects not only the shoppers who are wearing masks in indoor spaces, but also protects the workers who are wearing masks.

Earlier in the pandemic, there was a phrase I saw passed around on social media. “My mask protects you. Your mask protects me.” I like this phrase because it gives the feeling of being in this fight against COVID-19 together. One simple way to do that is with a mask mandate.

California Requires Masks In All Public Places is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites. If you enjoyed this blog post please consider supporting me on Ko-fi. Thank you!

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