California will lift indoor mask mandates for the vaccinated on February 16

Although it remains unclear how CA will enforce this new COVID-19 regulation, but beginning February 16, 2022, CA will lift the indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people will still need to wear their mask in public settings. And, counties, private businesses, employers, etc. can set their own requirements and still mandate masks. Masks also will still be required statewide on public transit, homeless shelters, long-term care facilities and health care settings.

Sounds confusing? It is because at the state level, CA has a public health agency and the law requires that counties follow state mandates if the state mandates are more restrictive. With the statewide mandate gone, control over masking policies returns to the counties. In other words, each county can mandate or not wearing masks while indoors.

CA has not yet joined other Blue states in lifting mask mandates in our public schools.

School mask rules won’t change yet, but the administrative of Gov. Gavin Newsom administration is working on an update to those that the governor will announce soon, chief strategist Anthony York said. “We’re looking at our school masking policy and continuing to work with education stakeholders to update our masking requirement and adapt to changing conditions,” York told The Sacramento Bee. “The governor is going to lay out a plan next week.”

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