California to reimpose indoor mask mandate for even vaxxed

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California to reimpose indoor mask mandate for even vaxxed

California is reimposing a statewide indoor mask mandate for even the vaccinated as local cases of COVID-19 have surged since Thanksgiving, health officials said Monday.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Health and Human Services secretary, said the new mandate will go into effect Wednesday and expire Jan. 15, according to local outlets.

Roughly half of California already lives in areas, such as Los Angeles County, where indoor mask mandates are in effect, Ghaly said.

But “as we look at the evidence that masks do make a difference, even a 10 percent increase in indoor masking can reduce case transmission significantly,” he said.

The move reverses the state’s lifting of its indoor mask mandate for the vaccinated in many places over the summer.

Ghaly noted a 47 percent increase in the rate of new COVID-19 cases across the state, as well as the expected spread of the potentially more infectious Omicron variant of the virus. 

The California indoor mask mandate will apply to fully vaccinated people as well.
The California indoor mask mandate will apply to fully vaccinated people as well.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

Ghaly did not disclose information regarding enforcement of the mandate, but “strongly recommended,” local governments and businesses create a plan together.

According to the latest data from the California Department of Public Health, 77.7 percent of Californians over the age of 5 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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