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California’s universal mask mandate to end

Masks will only be required in specified settings as of Feb. 16.

February 15, 2022

1 Min Read
JJ Gouin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

California will let its statewide indoor mask mandate expire today, Feb. 15, according to a statement by the state Department of Health.

Effective Feb. 16, only unvaccinated individuals will still be required to wear masks in indoor public settings. Local jurisdictions can continue to impose indoor masking requirements, and some cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco will keep the stricter rules in place until further notice.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalization are declining across the state.  This is due in large part to the collective efforts of Californians to get vaccinated, get boosted, and wear masks, state officials say.

A universal indoor masking requirement was reinstated on Dec. 15, 2021, to add a layer of mitigation as the Omicron variant, a Variant of Concern as labeled by the World Health Organization, increased in prevalence across California, the United States, and the world and spread much more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Delta variant.  Implementing the universal masking requirement in all indoor public settings during the winter season was an important tool to decrease community transmission during the highly infectious Omicron surge. 

The current hospital census is still over capacity, but the dramatic surge in cases and hospitalizations due to the highly infectious Omicron variant over the last two months has declined significantly.  Californians are also increasingly knowledgeable about how to protect themselves and their loved ones with effective masks when there may be risk of COVID-19 exposure.  Accordingly, state officials say it is now appropriate for the universal indoor masking requirement to expire today as scheduled.

Source: Western Growers, California Department of Public Health, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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