California is reinstating an indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status, state health officials announced Monday.
The mandate for public indoor spaces will be in effect from Wednesday to at least Jan. 15, according to the California Public Health Department news release.
The department said the mandate is an effort to “slow the spread of both Delta and the highly transmissible Omicron variant.” Both the statewide seven-day average case rate (at 47%) and hospitalization rate (14%) increased after Thanksgiving, according to the news release.
Attendees of mega events will also now be required to show “proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event,” California Public Health Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said.
California Public Health also recommended that everyone traveling to California get tested for the virus within three to five days upon arrival, according to the news release.
San Luis Obispo County already implemented its own indoor mask mandate in September, which is still in effect.
“Vaccines and these temporary measures will allow friends and families to safely spend the holidays together and will add critical layers of protection to keep people safe,”Aragón said in the news release.
California Public Health compared COVID-19 data across dates in November and reported that unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to get COVID-19, 12.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and 13 times more likely to die from the virus, according to the news release.
“Getting your whole family up to date on vaccination is the most important action you can take to get through the pandemic and to protect yourself from serious impacts from the virus and its variants,” Aragón said in the news release.