California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Monday the state will be reinstating an indoor mask mandate Wednesday regardless of vaccination status.
Ghaly also announced the state will be requiring people who attend events of 1,000 people or more to show a negative COVID-19 test even if the event does not require vaccination, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
California will reimpose indoor mask mandates in public settings for all residents, regardless of vaccination status, as COVID case rates statewide jump 47%.https://t.co/aK8DEevA6E
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) December 14, 2021
The new mandate is meant to avoid a surge in cases seen last winter, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. California had 24 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant as of Monday. (RELATED: Restaurant-Goers In California Told To Wear Mask ‘In Between Bites’ By Governor’s Office)
“This is a critical time,” Ghaly said, according to the outlet. “We have a tool we know has worked and can work. We are proactively putting this tool of universal indoor masking in place to ensure we get through a time of joy and hope without a darker cloud of despair.”
“Californians have done this before, and we believe we can do it again,” Ghaly said, according to the outlet.
The mandate will override local exemptions, requiring all people in indoor settings to wear masks regardless of vaccination status, reported the outlet.
Some counties, including Santa Cruz County, have gone further, requiring indoor masks in private homes.