California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

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California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement
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Source: California Department of Public Health

With case rates increasing 47% since Thanksgiving, the California Department of Public Health will require universal masking to increase protection to individuals, families, and communities during the holidays.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to monitor COVID-19 data in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians. Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by almost half (47%) and hospitalizations have increased by 14%. In response to the increase in cases and hospitalizations, and to slow the spread of both Delta and the highly transmissible Omicron variant, CDPH has issued updated guidance to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. 

Beginning December 15, CDPH will require masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through January 15, 2022, at which point California will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic. 

Additionally, CDPH updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now require either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.

CDPH also issued a new travel advisory effective immediately to recommend that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.  

"Our collective actions can save lives this holiday season. We are already seeing a higher level of transmission this winter and it is important to act now to prevent overwhelming our busy hospitals so we can provide quality health care to all Californians. All Californians should get vaccinated and receive their booster. Getting your whole family up to date on vaccination is the most important action you can take to get through the pandemic and to protect yourself from serious impacts from the virus and its variants. Testing and masking remain important tools in slowing the spread," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. "Starting Wednesday, California will require masking in all public indoor places during the holiday season regardless of vaccination status. Attendees of large events will be required to show either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. Additionally, California has issued a travel alert to recommend that all travelers get tested within three to five days of their arrival in California. Vaccines and these temporary measures will allow friends and families to safely spend the holidays together and will add critical layers of protection to keep people safe." 

Statewide COVID-19 Data

Today, the California Department of Public Health(CDPH) released the most recent statistics on COVID-19 and updates on the state's pandemic response. The most up to date data is available on the state's COVID-19 data dashboard.

Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations. See the data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

  • Unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 (data from November 21, 2021 to November 27, 2021 ).

  • Unvaccinated people were 12.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from November 14, 2021 to November 20, 2021).
  • Unvaccinated people were 13.0 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from November 7, 2021 to November 13, 2021).


  • 61,315,927 total vaccines administered.
  • 77.7% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
  • 210,409 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days). 


  • California has 4,886,509 confirmed cases to date.
  • Today's average case count is 5,825 (average daily case count over 7 days). 


  • The testing positivity rate is 2.2 % (average rate over 7 days). 


  • There are 3,804 hospitalizations statewide.
  • There are 967 ICU patients statewide. 


  • There have been 74,685 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 claims the lives of 51 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).


Omicron Variant

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of getting a vaccine, booster, and taking prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. As of December 12, 2021, 24 confirmed cases associated with the Omicron variant have been reported to the state. This number will be updated weekly with the other variants California is currently monitoring on the CDPH Tracking Variants webpage. For more information about the Omicron variant, see the Omicron variant fact sheet.

Stop the Spread: Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases.

It is recommended that every vaccinated adult 18 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.

Your Actions Save Lives

Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

  • Celebrate safely: Take commonsense steps this holiday season to protect yourself, your family and your community as you celebrate the holiday season.
  • Upgrade your mask: Good fit and filtration continue to be the best way to get the most out of your mask. The best masks for preventing COVID-19 include the N95, KN95 and KF94. If you don't have access to one of these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top. If you choose a fabric mask, opt for one with three of more cloth layers. No matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the nose or on the sides.
  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu: It's your turn now! It's recommended for everyone over six months of age to be vaccinated for the flu. For COVID-19, Californians age 5+ are eligible to make appointments or go to a walk-in site for vaccination. You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines on the same day.
  • My Vaccine Record is an easy way to show vaccination status at venues or businesses that require proof of vaccination. Visit today to get your vaccine record.
  • Stay Home & Get Tested if Sick: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), or believe you have been exposed,  get tested, call your health care provider, and stay home and away from others. Free, confidential testing is available statewide. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Travel tips: Delay travel (both domestic and international) until you are fully vaccinated. If you must travel before being fully vaccinated, consider getting tested before and after travel. See the CDC's full travel guidance.
  • Avoid crowded venues or areas when cases are high.
  • Add your phone to the fight:  Sign up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
  • Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.
  • Check with your local health department about local conditions. Local health jurisdictions can implement protocols that are stricter than state guidance. 

Tracking COVID-19 in California

Health Care Workers

  • As of December 9, local health departments have reported 131,821 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 531 deaths statewide.

Testing Turnaround Time

  • The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of November 28 to December 4, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.0 day. During this same time period, 75% of patients received test results in one day and 97% received them within two days.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

  • As of December 6, there have been 731 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.

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Show Comments
a-1639619831 Dec 15, 2021 05:57 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

My general rule of thumb is to wear an N95 mask when near people, stay 6’ away from masked people indoors, 15’ away from unmasked people (indoors or out), and otherwise enjoy life. My life is fine and my mask has not killed me. Neither have my two original shots or the third booster. I also try to avoid associating with the unvaccinated, partially to protect their health and partially to protect my rage at their ignorance and selfishness. I am fine with the state’s mask mandate. No biggy.

NostraChumash Dec 15, 2021 01:50 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Thanks for the hilarious entertainment everybody!..
I wonder though..
If a simple mask-mandate is causing this much turmoil in your lives, then how in the world are you going to survive when things get worse/harder/more dangerous & strict?..
Because that's precisely where we're "Worse" before "Better".

Bob From Ventura Dec 15, 2021 12:26 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I wasn't sure how I felt about the state reimposing a mask mandate, but now that I have gone through all of the Edhat comments by the graduates of the Twitter School of Virology and the Facebook Virus Institute, I feel a lot more confident in my knowledge. Thank you, all of you know-it-alls.

Steve_O Dec 15, 2021 08:23 AM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

If you are so afraid of covid after almost two years, and wear a mask while driving alone in your car, only go out when necessary, and hunker down at home otherwise....COVID has already killed you.

a-1639587645 Dec 15, 2021 09:00 AM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

PSTAR, there are several other countries that took the strong mandate approach and had mass compliance, all it does it delay, the spread is inevitable. Strengthening our hospital system, developing and promoting treatments, and distributing/encouraging vaccinations will get us through this. Everything else is just control, power grabs, and pandemic profiteering.

pstarSR Dec 15, 2021 08:49 AM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Im not afraid, Im vaccinated. thats where the issue really is.

the people skirting the mandates and the recommendations is what has gotten this to 2 years. has gotten us to this point. so sure, point out the fact that a portion of our community and society is selfish.

post it again, it will only reassure your selfish point.

OGSB Dec 14, 2021 09:25 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

So I wish ED had a poll option... Everyone is so extreme one way or the other and it's almost purely political. (based on how the comments are worded) Clearly, masks provide some benefit to the spread of Covid. Obviously, nobody really wants to wear them. Some have vented about unmasked people possibly harming their families or what about the people who are compromised? Those who have posted these types of comments, I would like to know if you wear N95 masks and change them every 3-4 hours of use. If it were an actual concern and not a political hot topic you should.

a-1639549680 Dec 14, 2021 10:28 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I have no problem wearing a mask. I locked down before CA did. I hired a well-payed shopper for all of 2020 and some of 2021. All for various reasons important to me. I realize the numerical risk in SB City is very small. Not only do I not have a problem wearing a mask, I am more comfortable with one in public. And I am getting my booster, late, this week.

OGSB Dec 14, 2021 09:37 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Mar- A dishonest claim? It's a question to all that have posted about masking up. I haven't posted either way here. If you want to know if I do, then yes. I have health concerns, so I take extra steps for myself.

MarcelK Dec 14, 2021 09:31 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

It's only made a political hot topic by right wingers. "I would like to know if you wear N95 masks and change them every 3-4 hours of use. If it were an actual concern and not a political hot topic you should." --- that's a very dishonest claim.

a-1639540068 Dec 14, 2021 07:47 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I thought that Trump said something to the effect of "Poof, then one day it will be gone. Like magic." He's a man of intelligence and never lies. When is that day coming?

JB86 Dec 14, 2021 06:29 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Seems to me a fundamental flaw is to think we can eradicate COVID through control measures. This was the idea from the feds in the beginning. But it is becoming obvious that COVID is going to be endemic - cannot be eradicated as it continually morphs. It is similar to the common cold and flu virus; it is here to stay. So, like the cold and flu viruses, it will mutate to a form that can replicate and survive regardless of what we do, but hopefully to a less virulent strain, which the omicron variant may portend. It is not in the evolutionary interest of any parasite to kill all it's hosts - but it will find a way to survive, and still take victims along the way. Deciding when to end public health mandates is a very tough call, but at some point public fatigue may decide.

a-1639615171 Dec 15, 2021 04:39 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

You quoted an article that linked ADE with mRNA vaccines. No surprise that you diny you "said" that, as you've repeatedly used that same excuse for other posts you've made with assertions that were provably false. And, of course, infections in a group of fully-vaccinated people are going to be, you guessed it, vaccinated people. What matters is the severity of resultant disease. But, you just want to spread FUD, so it's just more of the same from you.

a-1639613626 Dec 15, 2021 04:13 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I did not insinuate, I quoted an interview with Fauci using his exact words, provided a CNN article showing Omicron spread quickly throughout Cornell's fully vaccinated and masked student body. Not once did I say the mRNA's are the same tech as RSV nor did I say they have shown an indication of inducing ADE. I mean, it's all right there, in writing...

a-1639610713 Dec 15, 2021 03:25 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

The WHO on vaccines and omicron:

Relevant quote:

"Recent studies of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine showed it produced far fewer neutralising antibodies against Omicron than against the original strain, but that this deficit could be reversed by a third, booster, jab."

a-1639609380 Dec 15, 2021 03:03 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

The poster at 2:21 spreading FUDdy falsehoods about vaccine effectiveness seems unaware that the mRNA vaccines are based on a totally different technology than the RSV vaccine, and have shown absolutely no indications of inducing ADE.

a-1639607245 Dec 15, 2021 02:27 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

You quoted something Fauci said in March of 2020. The world has changed, and you're just pushing complete FUD. The vaccines, especially with a booster, are showing decent efficacy against omicron, which is proving to be very very infectious. Get your shots and stay masked if you want to stay out of the hospital.

a-1639606897 Dec 15, 2021 02:21 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I quoted Dr. Fauci directly and you call it "social media falsehood"? You're also missing the point with that fact check, which was based on prior variants and tip toed around the fact that yes, vaccines have been developed in the past that initially looked promising and safe, only to result an increased risk of infection. They have little to no data on how the mRNA vaccines will work with Omicron and if it will or will not lead to people being more susceptible to infection. Initial reports like the CNN article, aren't promising.

a-1639604774 Dec 15, 2021 01:46 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

That is more social media falsehood. It's an old interview being hyped by the COVIDIOT crowd:

a-1639604321 Dec 15, 2021 01:38 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

1) hopefully not many, but Zuckerberg was just the interviewer, the interviewee, Dr. Fauci many people do listen to.
2) That is incorrect, the extended study "in people who are out there in a risk situation" is ongoing.
3) They have no idea how this will play out with new variants that differ significantly from the alpha variant the mRNA vaccines were base of off. It is simply to early to tell how well the vaccine works against Omicron and IF it leads to individuals being more likely to get infected as Dr. Fauci said has happened with several other vaccines that "looked good in initial safety actually made people worse". - with the recent outbreaks like the one in the CNN article where Omicron spread like wildfire through a fully vaccinated, boosted, and mask wearing population, I'm gonna take a pause before I rush out for another booster. Good news is, so far anyway, Omicron cases are not leading to hospitalizations at nearly the same rate of prior variants.

a-1639586794 Dec 15, 2021 08:46 AM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Read the CNN article, then watch the interview with Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Fauci, excerpts posted below:

Zuckerberg: “One of the questions I’ve heard from a number of people is: Doing the safety trials obviously is incredibly important because you want to make sure you’re not injecting people with something that could be harmful. But once you have that, why not push harder on rolling it out more aggressively, even if you don’t know how effective it is? What’s the public health rationale and thinking behind needing to prove it’s extremely effective before rolling out something that you know is safe?”

Fauci: “OK, That’s a good question. The initial safety study, Mark, is to see if I inject it in the arm, does it have some sort of idiosyncratic or bad reaction? There is another element to safety, and that is if you vaccinate someone and they make an antibody response, and then they get exposed and infected, does the response that you induce actually enhance the infection, and make it worse?

And the only way you’ll know that is if you do an extended study, not in a normal volunteer who has a risk of infection, but in people who are out there in a risk situation. This would not be the first time if it happened that a vaccine that looked good in initial safety actually made people worse.

There was the history of the respiratory syncytial vaccine in children, which paradoxically made the children worse. One of the HIV vaccines that we tested several years ago actually made individuals more likely to get infected. So you can’t just go out there and give it unless you feel that in the field, when someone is getting infected and exposed, being vaccinated doesn’t make them worse. That is why you got to do a trial.”

a-1639586535 Dec 15, 2021 08:42 AM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Someone was saying something about this being all the unvaccinated's fault?

"Virtually every case of the Omicron variant to date has been found in fully vaccinated students, a portion of whom had also received a booster shot," said Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina in a statement.

a-1639549409 Dec 14, 2021 10:23 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I sure hope and would like to know if t hey are hospitalized! Is Omicron less vicious than Delta? Were your friends vaccinated? How sick are they? I still only go out to shop, for several health reasons.

a-1639549280 Dec 14, 2021 10:21 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Ha ha ha! Okay, fine, if that's how you want to further your argument, by saying go read. Telling people go go read and to grow up will never help your argument.

Seabird Dec 14, 2021 10:03 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I stand firmly with SBTownie on this. The sources are my own personal connections who are falling like dominos at the moment. They all hang out in different circles, all have been fully vaccinated (in the spring between March and May), and all have been carefully masked, etc. Somehow, those who'd managed to escape the virus for the last TWO YEARS are finally contracting it, even fully vaxxed and with masking in place. Up until a month ago, I'd only personally known one person who became ill. Now, I very suddenly know several. It's a thing.

SBTownie Dec 14, 2021 09:51 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Why don't you just read the news. It's not my job to educate you. I don't have to cite my sources to make a statement of fact. Which is not fear-mongering by the way. I read the NYT, the LA Times, The Guardian, various sources from Israel, and various other international sources every day. Why don't you check the data coming out of Europe and South Africa. Omicron doesn't induce surges; it brings on full blown vertical cliffs and the direction goes up. It's not fear mongering to say cases will shoot up like we've never seen before. I didn't say people are going to die en masse. I said we will see a surge like we have never seen before. Grow up and do your own research.

a-1639544750 Dec 14, 2021 09:05 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I'm all for control measures, but this post of yours is fear-mongering. I can't figure out your mindset, and you post a lot!
Are you for government steps toward virus control or against?
And then you post this?! Please follow up with several sources, from journalism and medicine!

a-1639535625 Dec 14, 2021 06:33 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

One guy from the government said masks aren’t effective, back in April 2020, and you’re holding the entire medical community to that forever. Nobody knew nothing for a long time, people said stuff. Learn to filter the chaff.

Alexblue Dec 14, 2021 06:26 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

Hey, Babycakes, do you have any, you know, proof, that there is a single human being in the United States who has expressed that they want to wear a mask for the rest of their lives, or are you just making it up as you talk?

a-1639529950 Dec 14, 2021 04:59 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

I can’t believe so many hold masks so tightly when the politicians that are putting out the mandates continuously disregard their own mask mandates. If masks were so incredibly critical to fighting this pandemic you’d think the politicians would be complying with their own mandate. They’re vaccinated you say? Well so are we!

dukemunson Dec 14, 2021 12:42 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

You guys can mask forever...the vast majority of places I go to in SB and Goleta don't care about masks anymore. Sure, Chaucer's will keep it going forever...but most spots are past it at this point. Whether people are wearing their gaiters isn't helping or keeping people safe. Elder people and immunocompromised people need to be taking different precautions then younger people...that's the reality of the situation...probably/possibly forever.

Ant lion Dec 14, 2021 12:20 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

From a recent UK study published in the Lancet:
"Vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts."

Ant lion Dec 14, 2021 07:12 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

nobody is ignoring anything. Get vaxxed, I did, but do it mostly for your own protection not society's. If this proves true it takes away much of the moral imperative for mandates.

Ant lion Dec 14, 2021 04:41 PM
California Reinstates Indoor Face Mask Requirement

why downvote a direct quote from a peer-reviewed scientific study in one of the best medical journals out there? Let me guess - it's because you are "for the science" except when it's inconvenient.


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