California Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate Through January 15 - Health Dept.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - California authorities have reinstituted an indoor mask mandate for all non-exempt individuals through January 15 in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus Omicron variant during the holiday season, State Public Health Officer Tomas Aragon and Governor Gavin Newsom said in a new guidance to all residents.
"To ensure that we collectively protect the health and well-being of all Californians; keep schools open for in-person instruction; and allow California's economy to remain open and thrive, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022)," the guidance said on Monday.
The new measure brings an added layer of mitigation against the Omicron variant, which has been detected in California, the guidance said. Masking will also bolster protection during the holiday season when more travel occurs and time is spent indoors, the guidance added.
Surgical masks or higher-level respirators are recommended and no person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business, the guidance said.
Persons with medical or mental health conditions, the hearing impaired or those communicating with someone who is hearing impaired and persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk related to their work are exempt from indoor masking, according to the guidance.