California To End Its Mask Mandate — Sort Of

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

June 15 will be a big day for California.

That’s when the state will ease its mask mandate to allow fully vaccinated people to forgo face coverings in most places, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state’s health and human services secretary, said Monday. It’s also when California will lift capacity limits on businesses, permitting the state to fully reopen for the first time in more than a year.

  • Ghaly: “California has made amazing progress in our fight against COVID-19 … with more than 34 million vaccines administered, we now have one of the lowest case and positivity rates in the nation.”

That California will not follow new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for another month underscores the political and logistical complexities of changing the Golden State’s mask rules. And don’t expect the complexities to end on June 15: Ghaly emphasized Monday that counties and private businesses can choose to keep tougher mask rules in place. He also noted that the state’s workplace safety agency, which is meeting later this week to consider changes to its emergency coronavirus rules, may set its own standards for employers and workplaces. Meanwhile, masks will be required in schools “throughout the rest of this calendar year,” Ghaly said.

Adding to the confusion, the state is still figuring out whether Californians should be required to show proof of vaccination in order to walk maskless into a store, and if so, how. Although California has incentivized businesses to use vaccine passports, it’s shied away from creating a statewide system — though Ghaly said officials are “continuing to watch and see how these technologies can be used to help support public health in our state.”

Another reason the state is waiting a month to loosen its mask rules: It wants more Californians to get vaccinated first. Just under half of the state’s eligible population was fully vaccinated as of Monday. And when it comes to herd immunity, only two of 58 counties are close to reaching the vaccination levels experts say are necessary to keep COVID-19 at bay — while most trail far behind with less than half of their eligible population vaccinated, CalMatters’ Ana Ibarra reports.

This article was originally published by CalMatters.org

Comments

  1. And what is so special about June 15? Oh yea, nothing. It is just one more demonstration of California Liberal Dem power. It is time for a change in the make up of our government. Let’s go back to electing citizen politicians and eliminate the professional political class.

  2. When the CDC declared we no longer need to wear the mask, I threw mine away. I don’t care what Newsom says.

  3. Stephanie says

    Look for long lines to get into stores and businesses. They will have nazis checking your proof of vaccination before you enter. I’ve had it.

  4. Disgusted voter in California says

    The passport scam is ILLEGAL and UN-Constitutional. I’ll show mine – WHEN they require proof of citizenship to vote!!!

  5. ALL TH MORE REASON TO RECALL THIS A$$HOLE!

  6. Does any honest, taxpaying Citizen trust our governments; state or feds?
    Is it time that we “…throw off such Government, and … provide new Guards for [our] future security….”?
    This government is NOT working for the Citizen, state or federal.
    Their goal appears to destroy our “self-government” “Republic” and replace it with a Marxist version of socialism whereby the “elitist” (them) will lord it over the serfs (us).
    Tyranny is not a government any educated person would want to live under.
    The one big truth I have come to learn is;
    Democrats Lie!

  7. Chris Renner says

    We all saw how ineffective masks were and the lockdowns only exacerbated the rate of COVID contagion when California experienced a surge far worse than most states. Now they want vaccine cards?

    Can you not recognize these dictates for the Communism that it is. It’s only a matter of time before neighbors are tattling on neighbors for state favors. California is already the most unfriendly state in the union so this desired Democrat dictate is not a surprise. Watch the German movie, “The Lives of Others” to see what California will become.

    I am so glad I left the Tarnished State. My rotator cuff is sore from all the waving to strangers and my grin lines are deeper because everyone has seen my smile both indoors and out for the last 12 months.

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