GARDEN GROVE, Calf.—As California enforces a state-wide mask mandate until Jan. 15, places of worship are exempt for participants who are fully vaccinated, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
The state reintroduced a state-wide mask mandate beginning Dec. 15, as a 47 percent increase of COVID-19 cases were reported since Thanksgiving, according to the CDPH.
The CDPH released a statement issuing the guidelines for all public indoor settings, however, the state updated the guidelines on Dec. 15 to reflect places of worship.
While the CDPH exempts vaccinated persons from wearing masks at indoor places of worship, attendees are strongly encouraged to wear a mask, while unvaccinated members are required to wear masks, according to the CDPH website.
Priests in Orange County made the announcement to their congregations on Dec. 19.
The Catholic Diocese of Orange informed churches in Orange County that the reinstated mask mandate for all indoor activities does not affect churches during mass, sacraments, and other devotions for those who are vaccinated.
The CDPH was not immediately available for comment.