On Monday, Dec. 13., State officials announced that California will be implementing an indoor mask mandate, effective Wednesday, December 15 and will run through January 15, 2022.
As we are now approaching the two year mark since the first shutdown in March, 2020, Clovis citizens weigh in on the mandate.
“If they ask, I will put it on,” said Elaina Gonzales, “It is a small thing, and I will respect it.” However, not everyone agrees with Gonzales. Emily Schalk said, “It’s an ongoing cycle and I am sick of it.”
California will also tighten restrictions on those who are not vaccinated who attend large indoor gatherings of 1,000 people or more, requiring them to receive a negative Covid test within one day of the event. This differs from current rules requiring a test within 72 hours of the event.
“2 weeks turned into 2 years,” said Steve Reeves, “It’s almost like the masks never worked in the first place.” On the contrary, “Masks are the only way to slow the spread. The faster we comply the faster go can go back to normal,” said Leslie White.
The state is also recommending that people who travel to California or return to the state after traveling be tested for Covid within three to five days.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary of health and human services, explained that science has shown that even a small increase in indoor masking can help prevent the virus from spreading, which in result, can help keep hospitals from filling. Ghaly says that hospital capacity is being pressed and challenged in California.
With COVID-19 vaccine booster shots being highly recommended by the CDC and 25.7 million Californians being vaccinated, some share their frustration and concern.
“I got the vaccine for normalcy, wearing a mask is not normalcy,” said Marg Johnson, “What was the point of getting vaccinated then?”
State officials are implementing masks to bring an added layer of protection as the Omicron variant is increasingly being found across California. Since Thanksgiving, the state’s seven day average case rate has increased by 47% and hospitalizations have increased by 14%, according to the California Department of Public Health.
State officials have also not provided specific details on how the new mask mandate will be enforced, but Ghaly said the state is expecting most people to choose to wear a mask in indoor spaces.