California Extending Indoor Mask Mandate
Sacramento, CA — Originally set to expire in a week, the California Public Health Department is extending the indoor mask mandate.
Instead of January 15, it will now run through February 15. California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly says it is designed to prevent a spike in COVID cases related to the Omicron variant. He says over the past two weeks the overall cases in California are up six-fold and Covid hospitalizations have doubled over that span to about 8,000. Early overseas studies show that symptoms from Omicron have been less severe than the earlier Delta Variant. It seems to be spreading more easily though. The state’s mask mandate put out late yesterday is for “all indoor public settings and “irrespective of vaccine status.”
The state says exemptions are made for anyone under two years old, those who are hearing impaired or communicating with someone who is hearing impaired, and those with mental health conditions or disabilities that make mask-wearing difficult.