California – As we approach the holiday season and slowly entering the winter months, the number of new Covid-19 cases is on the rise across the state, but the trend is also seen across the country in general.
With the new Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus in place since recently, health officials are once again urging those unvaxxed to get she shot as soon as possible. Additionally, those fully vaccinated are more than encouraged to get the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccines.
The number of new positive cases in California has been on the rise recently and according to the health officials, there has been a 47% increase in COVID-19 case rates across the state since Thanksgiving which seems to be an alarming factor.
Following the recent spread of the virus across the state, State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced on Monday that California is issuing an indoor mask mandate statewide for over the Christmas holiday.
According to Ghaly, both the unvaccinated and those fully vaccinated will be required to wear face masks of face coverings while indoors and the mandate will initially be enforced from December 15th to January 15th. If the number of Covid-19 cases is high after January 15th, there is good chance the mandate to be additionally extended.
The new order will also require those who have not been vaccinated to show proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen test within one day of the event or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. The current rules require a test within 72 hours of the event.
In addition, the state officials recommend, but not require, those who plan to travel to California or those who will travel back to the state to test for Covid-19 within three to five days regardless of their vaccination status.
Indoor mask mandate for many will not be something new since nearly half of the Californians live in counties with enforced mask mandate currently. The state indoor mask mandate will now apply for the state as a whole.
“As we look at the evidence that masks do make a difference, even a 10% increase in indoor masking can reduce case transmission significantly,” he said.
Dr. Ghaly did not share any information about an enforcement strategy for this new mandate, but “strongly recommended” local governments and businesses implement a strategy themselves in order to “save lives.”