California’s mask mandate for indoor public settings will remain in place until at least Feb. 15, officials announced.
The state’s Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly made the announcement on Jan. 5, citing a rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
The statewide mandate was scheduled to expire on Jan. 15, one month after it was reintroduced.
Among the indoor public spaces affected are retail stores, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, and government offices.
Ghaly said residents should consider wearing higher-grade masks, not simply scarves or loose-fitting cloth face-coverings. He said many masks that people donned in the early days of the pandemic are “not as helpful today,” urging people to consider masks that are well-fitted on the face without gaps or ventilators.
Ghaly said that as of Jan. 5, 8,000 hospitalized patients tested positive for COVID-19. He couldn’t provide a breakdown of how many patients were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19 and only discovered they were infected when they were tested at the hospital.
City News Service contributed to this report.