California to Wait Until Mid-June to Lift Mask Mandate

Posted: May 17, 2021 5:30 PM
California to Wait Until Mid-June to Lift Mask Mandate

Source: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File

California will not its residents to occupy indoor settings without wearing a face covering until June 15 to allow ample time for people to prepare for the easing of COVID-19 guidelines.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly announced Monday that vaccinated state residents will be permitted to be indoors without a mask starting in the middle of June despite the Center for Disease Control and Prevention updating its guidelines last week to say that vaccinated people can safely participate in everyday life without restrictions.

Ghaly said in his statement:

On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC’s guidelines around masking to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings. This four-week period will give Californians time to prepare for this change while we continue our relentless focus on delivering vaccines, particularly in underserved communities.

The California HHS secretary said that current coronavirus restrictions will remain in place, even for vaccinated individuals, as preparations are being made for a fully reopened state economy.

He encouraged everyone to get their coronavirus vaccinations as only those receive the shots will be permitted to return to pre-COVID life.

Earlier this month, restrictions were eased, dropping the mask mandate for vaccinated residents while they are outdoors, after the state discovered the virus was unlikely to spread outside.

Ghlaly said:

As of May 3, 2021, face coverings are no longer required outdoors except at crowded events, and for unvaccinated people, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Despite the strict COVID-19 restrictions in the state, California endured high infection and death rates, having the most in the country in both categories.

The state had more than 3.7 million infections and more than 62,000 deaths, according to The New York Times.

After California has given out more than 33 million vaccinations, California was reported to have more than half of its residents with at least one dose of the vaccine.