With COVID-19 Conditions Improving, State Public Health Leaders Modify Omicron Surge Policies

Source: California Department of Public Health

As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve across California and the Omicron surge subsides, temporary measures the state had put in place will expire in the coming weeks.

COVID-19 cases and the rate of community transmission have steadily decreased statewide since early January, and hospitalizations are either plateauing or declining in most regions of the state. Since California’s peak during the Omicron surge, the state has experienced a 65% decrease in case rates. 

 Additional visitation requirements that took effect on January 7 for long-term care facilities and hospitals will expire today. Definitions for indoor and outdoor mega events will return to pre-surge guidance (from 500 to 1,000 attendees for indoor events, and 5,000 to 10,000 attendees for outdoor events) after February 15. The indoor masking requirement will expire after February 15 reverting to the previous guidance which requires masking for unvaccinated individuals in all indoor public settings and required masking for all individuals regardless of vaccination status in higher risk settings like public transit and congregate living. Workplaces will continue to follow the COVID-19 prevention standards set by CalOSHA. 

The state is continuing to work with education, public health and community leaders to update masking requirements at schools to adapt to changing conditions and ensure the safety of kids, teachers, and staff.

Additional adjustments to the state’s policies will be shared in the coming week.

“Omicron has loosened its hold on California, vaccines for children under 5 are around the corner, and access to COVID-19 treatments is improving,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “With things moving in the right direction, we are making responsible modifications to COVID-19 prevention measures, while also continuing to develop a longer-term action plan for the state.”

Additional information on visitation requirements can be found here:

CDPH All Facilities Letter

CDSS Provider Information Notice

Statewide COVID-19 Data

Rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are highest among unvaccinated individuals and lowest among boosted individuals. This is true for all age groups. See additional data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.


  • 70,183,793 total vaccines administered.
  • 82.3% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
  • 88,099 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).


  • California has 8,079,771 confirmed cases to date.
  • Today’s average case count is 43,532 (average daily case count over 7 days).
  • Unvaccinated people are 7.5 times more likely to get COVID-19 than boosted individuals (January 10, 2022 – January 16, 2022).


  • The testing positivity rate is 9.5% (average rate over 7 days).


  • There are 10,595 hospitalizations statewide.
  • There are 2,101 ICU patients statewide.
  • Unvaccinated people are 14.9 times more likely to be hospitalized than boosted individuals (January 10, 2022 – January 16,2022).


  • There have been 80,539 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 claims the lives of 120 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

  • Unvaccinated people are 30.0 times more likely to die than boosted individuals (January 1, 2022 – January 9, 2022).


Written by Anonymous

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  1. The problem is, it is the unvaccinated people who were ignoring the mask mandates in the first place. Now we won’t even be able to tell them to mask up. BAD MOVE. We should keep the mask mandate in place until it’s safe for everyone.

  2. The unvaccinated are still required to mask. Enforcement is the problem. Except for those with valid medical reasons, the unvaccinated have already demonstrated that they are sociopaths, so of course they will ignore the requirements.

  3. It seems the state leadership has seen the writing on the wall. There is a big election coming up later this year. Although a vocal minority of those who elected our state’s leaders support strict rules and mask mandates for the foreseeable future, the more moderate majority of their supporters are ready to move on. It is not politically expedient for the state leadership to give their supporters the choice of voting for their preferred political party or taking off their masks. This is particularly true when the leaders themselves have demonstrated that they do not believe wearing masks is important with their own behavior. Actions speak louder than words and people have noticed. Therefore, I expect the masks will disappear starting next week and it will be much harder to implement mask mandates again in the future.

  4. But what does it matter to you if someone (a sociopath as you say) is unvaccinated and unmasked…you have all the tools to protect yourself, and as someone who is vaccinated you can also spread the virus to them. Wherein lies the never ending obsession with masking everyone, forever in all circumstances?

  5. Bigugly – What you fail to realize is, you are using a metric whereby we never stop mandating masks. Covid is endemic…we must learn to live with it, and the current status quo is mindlessly adding burdens in spite of them in many circumstances showing any value. Much of the masking is simply a charade we all go through daily. Mask on as we walk into coffee shop, mask off as we sit drink talk with other masked people, walk out with mask on.

  6. Ok, 2:25, why do you think California’s leadership is moving against the science and abandoning masks and other life saving measures in the face of dangerous pandemic? What could possibly motivate them to make this decision that will inevitably lead to more covid cases and more lives lost?

  7. Positivity rates, case rates, and hospitalization rates are all higher today than the same time last year. ICU capacity is about the same. In addition we have a variant going around that is not only more transmissible but more easily evades vaccines. The science didn’t change, the politics did.

  8. I’m against vaccine mandates, but recognize that they would in fact accomplish something tangible (whereas mask mandates at this point are useless). So…I would be against forcing people to get it, as it seems like a personal choice in light of the fact that people can get vaccinated and protect themselves, not to mention vaccinated people can and do spread COVID. But it would have a (medical) benefit, whereas the masks in so many scenarios are silly and useless. It will be interesting to see if the school district wields this power and lets only vaccinated kids go mask less in school. If so, it would increase the number of kids getting vaccinated (and lead to some wild school board meetings).

  9. Sociopaths? okay…. What say you to the person who already had a case of covid, which the real science (not The Science™ ) says is 6 times more durable than the vaccines? Or are we continuing with the science denying, natural-immunity-from-prior-infection doesn’t exist?

  10. I guess the pandemic will run its course: vaccinated people will get mild cases but spread the disease, unvaccinated people may get severe cases but continue to spread the disease. Basically Darwin’s law in action: culling of the uneducated.

  11. Sack — I’m not “ignoring it”. I am vaccinated. Just saying that this common concern troll question doesn’t hold water with me. The entire country has been mask optional for a very long time, and california’s numbers are not much better than most of the mask optional places. So this argument seems moot.

  12. Which is sad as it will disproportionately kill minorities…
    But there still isn’t any logic at this point for mandating masks in all scenarios… or in more than 1 or 2 scenarios for the vast majority of us. Protect yourself and stop obsessing over masking other peoples 8 year olds…

  13. 4:34 – Claiming that immunity from having COVID is better and more durable than immunity from vaccines is another of your lies. Immunity from infection has been shown to be wildly variable, much more likely to develop into long COVID, and the data show that vaccines result in more robust and uniform immunity. Both forms of immunity wane over time, and those best protected are those who were vaccinated, and then had the misfortune to also be infected. That’s not a good strategy to try for, though, since any case of COVID may prove deadly or long-lasting.

  14. Wow Sac, Sorry to hear that. My condolences. To Bud’s point, everyone I have known that got Covid really didn’t have much more than a cold. I think maybe others have had the same experience so they view it as such. Crazy and sad that you’ve experienced that.

  15. “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,or the one”
    Yea, science fiction.
    Kind of like now, huh?
    You need to get going on the next election where your &%#@ makes nonsense for people to get confused and vote your way.
    Get going girl.

  16. 739pm – The “innocent” can and should get vaccinated and then will not have to worry about it, as while they will still be able to spread Covid, they will be protected from it. It’s kind of odd how imperilled you (a presumably vaxxed, boosted and perpetually masked person) think you are by unvaccinated people. It’s completely irrational.

  17. Any case of walking across a street is potentially deadly. The question becomes how far and long can you mandate something despite its lack of tangible value. The masks played a role. That role though is done. How long are you going to ignore and defy the logic and science and try to mandate them? Our kids truly and definitively are suffering…

  18. 221pm – I’m a little confused… chip used a more recent study than yours, and yours acknowledged the profound value of previous infection (while obviously stating that it’s safer to get the vaccine than Covid). So it’s actually you “spouting nonsense” here…

  19. ZERO – buddy….. I think it might be the tone and verbiage getting you removed. I agree 100% with pretty much everything you say and am equally frustrated seeing outright lies being posted (and sometimes deleted) or worse – the racist and sociopathic rants of CONSERVATIVESB still being permitted. Best to keep the responses within the guidelines though. I’ve flown off the handle a lot recently due to some crappy things happening and have been deleted, but expected as much.
    Stick around and continue to debate, your comments are usually a refreshing change to the outright lies, racism, and just plain evil that is regurgitated here by so many.

  20. 2:21, you are misrepresenting what the “myths and facts” website says. Right after what you quoted, it says “getting vaccinated is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity”. It does not say that vaccination provides more robust or longer lasting immunity compared to natural immunity. The cdc paper I posted addresses that question, and found covid case rates were lower among those who had recovered from infection that among those who had been vaccinated alone after the emergence of delta.

  21. Its ok to disagree, but Edhat deletes when you fly off the handle… and often rightly so! I’ve gotten deleted quite a few times (damn you still school board)… it’s important to realise debate is ok. And debating the point of making all people (and especially all kids) in all indoor settings is a necessary debate. The masks are having a tangibly negative effect on a lot of kids… if it’s no longer beneficial (or never was to begin with, but I digress) thats something that needs to be talked about.

  22. I think by now, regular readers of Edhat know about the idiotic content spewed profusely by the BS gang, and don’t even bother reading it. Still, their content is potentially harmful to somebody naive about COVID (if such exist) and new to Edhat, so it’s good to counter that.

  23. 4:52 – precisely. Even though not as dangerous as a year ago, misinformation about COVID can still be deadly. Look at all the unvaxxed people dying from it still. They’re all dying because they believed the lies about the vaccine.

  24. @ 6:43
    At least one of those two seems to be a sock puppet. Same disinformation content, same grammar and spelling errors, same limited vocabulary. Either that, or both spent too much of their schooling in the principal’s office.

  25. 5:22, here is a paper from the cdc evaluating natural immunity vs vaccination. It says “ Before Delta became the predominant variant in June, case rates were higher among persons who survived a previous infection than persons who were vaccinated alone. By early October, persons who survived a previous infection had lower case rates than persons who were vaccinated alone.”

  26. Politics certainly plays a part, but we must also consider that omicron has proven to be less deadly than earlier variants, death-reducing vaccines are available to all, and high-quality masks are available to all (for a price). All these things are in agreement with “the science,” and affect the decisions about mask mandates. Yep, it’s still a respiratory virus. But other conditions have changed.

  27. DUKE – “The masks played a role. That role though is done. ” How do you figure? Did masks once work, but now no longer do?
    Masking in close quartered indoor areas makes sense. Mandate it or not, I’m still probably going to do it to avoid infection, as wearing a mask is not even minutely inconvenient for me. Should everyone else have to, whether they want to or not? Nah, I think with the numbers going down we should be fine. BUT….. when we have out of control numbers, coupled with so many who refuse to vaccinate, masks should be required indoors. We’re not there anymore though, I don’t think.

  28. That more and more countries/municipalities are dropping all restrictions is beyond refreshing! All the mandates are short lived and we can all get back to normal relatively soon.
    Sweden did virtually no lock-down/mask and their numbers are no worse than ours. We did however lose many jobs, businesses, marriages, education, child socialization and we have spikes in suicide, alcohol and drug use. The losses to the former shrink before the the mega-losses to the latter.

  29. DUKE, I don’t think the mask’s role is completely done. I do think, with hindsight, mandating masks for all this time (except for a brief time in the summer), was a mistake.
    We are all learning though. The fact of the matter is, masks effectiveness depends on type of mask, local case rates, specific strain of COVID, and how packed you are indoors. We are probably getting pretty close to not needing masks in schools (our numbers are dropping, our case rates are below last winter’s peak and approaching the delta peak).
    Hospitalizations are still high though, with ICU numbers near the delta peak.

  30. Very logical Robert and the public health departments would/should be factoring that in. Makes this sudden pullback in masking, even with high reported numbers, even more skeptical that its actual science vs. political science.

  31. Just like when they originally said no masks then yes masks because “the science changed”, now they’re moving away from masks because “the science changed”. The “epidemiological science” never changed, it was a respiratory virus then, it’s still a respiratory virus today. The “political science” is the only science that changed. Hopefully many who were unable to see this previously will now begin to open their eyes.

  32. “with hindsight” ignores the silencing of any dissent from the accepted narrative the past two years, no matter how educated and experienced the person whose putting out the contrary view was. People were censored for talking about it originating from a lab, about the (lack of effectiveness) of masks, for saying that if you get vaccinated you can still catch and transmit covid. It isn’t hindsight when so many knew this all along.

  33. Sac – I’m not speaking to the efficacy of masks, I’m referring to that time of uncertainty in 2020 before vaccines when we needed to reopen schools and figure out how to go forward. At that point, masks made sense. We are (obviously) many many months past that point. So yes, the masks played a role. And sure, they might play a role again. But a blanket mandate now is illogical and counterproductive.

  34. AHCHOOO – exactly. Masks help in varying degrees, but they help. When we had no other tools to fight the virus, the mandates were critical, yet still butted against. At this point, we know 1/4 to 1/3 of our population prefers risking death to making any effort, so let’s just let them. I’m sick of trying to protect those who have no interest in reciprocating, and in many cases, going out of their way to obstruct others from wearing masks. Let them be and wish them luck (or not). I’m done trying.

  35. As long as hospitals and their personnel are overworked, at risk and burnt out (the majority being unvaxxed and not masking), restrictions need to stay in place, as onerus and only semi-protective as they are. As for personal losses: One senior cousin who caught pneumonia then Covid while in the hospital for an unrelated emergency and one acquaintance of many years in his 50’s, don’t know vax status.

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