California has implemented a statewide mask mandate in all indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status beginning Dec. 15.
The mask mandate will remain in place until Jan. 15.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the mandate comes after a surge in CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus case rates across the state since Thanksgiving.
“As we look at the evidence that masks do make a difference, even a 10 percent increase in indoor masking can reduce case transmission significantly,” Ghaly said.
But many are pushing back against the mandate.
Sharon McKeeman, founder of Let Them Breathe, a national organization advocating for mask-choice for K–12 students, told NTD there is “no justification” for the mandate.
“This doesn’t make sense that vaccinations are being pushed at the same time that they are asking people to mask up again,” McKeeman said.
She said as mask mandates are being dropped in many states, “California is still having more government overreach really than anywhere else in the country.”
The state will also toughen the restriction for unvaccinated people who attend indoor “mega-events” of 1,000 people or more, requiring them to receive a negative COVID-19 test within one day of the event if it’s a rapid antigen test or within two days for a PCR test. The current rules require a test within 72 hours of the event.
State officials will also recommend, but not require, that people who travel to California or return to the state after traveling be tested for COVID-19 within three to five days.
The announcement came on the same day New York implemented a statewide mask requirement indoors.