On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued updated guidance requiring Californians to once again to wear masks indoors in “all indoor public settings,” regardless of vaccination status. The mandate will go into effect December 15, 2021, and will run through January 15, 2022. Los Angeles County and several Bay Area counties already require masks in public settings, so this new mandate will mainly affect about 50% of the state population that lives in counties that currently don’t have their own mask mandate.
Per updates to the CDPH’s FAQ that were released today, exceptions to this mask mandate are as follows:
- Persons who are actively eating or drinking.
- Persons who are working alone in a closed office or room.
- Persons who are actively performing at indoor live or recorded settings or events such as music, acting, or singing. If performers do not wear a mask indoors while performing, CDPH strongly recommends that individuals undergo screening testing at least once weekly. An FDA-approved antigen test, PCR test, or pooled PCR test is acceptable for evaluation of an individual’s COVID-19 status.
- Persons who are obtaining a medical or cosmetic service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the services.
- Workers who wear respiratory protection, per Cal-OSHA requirements.
- Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing masks by other CDPH guidance.
The CDPH also issued updated guidance for Mega Events (greater than 1,000 indoor OR 10,000 outdoor attendees). Effective December 15th, unvaccinated individuals will not be able to attend a Mega Event unless they can show a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. The definition of a mega event has not changed.
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