Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced new mask mandates for Californians beginning Wednesday, Dec 15th.
Residents will be required to wear masks while in public indoor facilities.
This mandate will affect about 50% of counties throughout the state that don’t currently have mask mandates of their own according to California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.
In addition to the mask requirement, those without proof of vaccination that are attending events with more than 1,000 people must show proof of a negative COVID test within one day. The previous guidelines requested a negative test within 72 hours.
California also recommends that those traveling in or out of the state get tested for the virus within three to five days.
The newest take-home tests, available to purchase through pharmacies, are an acceptable proof of a negative test result.
These latest guidelines for state residents follow a rise in cases across California
Ghaly stated that since Thanksgiving, California has seen its daily COVID-19 case rate rise 47%. Before Thanksgiving, the state was experiencing around 9.6 cases per 100,000 residents per day; that number is now 14 cases per 100,000.
Dr. Ghaly spoke to reporters on Monday and emphasized his understanding of people’s fatigue of these laws.
“We know people are tired and hungry for normalcy. Frankly, I am too,” Ghaly said. “That said, this is a critical time where we have a tool that we know has worked. We are proactively putting this tool of universal indoor masking in public settings in place to ensure we get through a time of joy and hope without a darker cloud of concern and despair.”
The guidance and mandate comes with Christmas just around the corner. Families gathering for the holiday season could result an increase in the number of cases.
Ghaly stated that there is no state directive instructing California residents on what they can or can’t do during the holidays, but emphasized that residents should get vaccinated.
Ghaly also recommended that families try to spend more time outside instead of indoors. This is because the virus is easier to transmit indoors.
These mandates are expected to end on Jan 15th.