California will continue to require fully vaccinated people to wear masks in most public indoor settings until June 15.
This came after national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement on Thursday that said fully vaccinated people can resume most typical pre-pandemic activities without having to wear a face mask or social distancing. The seemingly premature statement caused a slew of confusion, resulting in many states announcing exceptions to the CDC’s latest recommendation.
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“On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC guidelines that allow fully-vaccinated people to go without a mask in most situations,” said state director of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly on Monday. “Until June 15, California will keep our existing guidance in place. In indoor settings, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status.”
California is planning to fully reopen on June 15, lifting capacity limits on theaters, concerts and other events with only minimal restrictions in place.
Just two weeks earlier, the CDC had recommended that fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks in all indoor settings and also while outdoors in large crowds. California’s current rules align with this previous recommendation, which does not require fully vaccinated people to wear masks outdoors except while attending crowded events such as live performances, parades or sports events. With over 34 million vaccines administered, California currently has the lowest case and positivity rates in the nation.
Thirteen states — including Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington — dissolved their statewide mask mandates after the CDC issued its guidelines. Other states such as New York reviewed the evidence for a short period of time before making a decision. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday morning that New York state will lift its mask mandate on May 19 to align with guidance from the CDC. Masks will still be required in certain indoor settings such as public transit and schools.
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