California is easing COVID-19 mask recommendations as conditions improve. Here’s where

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In a new sign of improving the coronavirus situation, California will ease its mask-wearing recommendations for the first time in seven months.

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The state is largely rescinding its strong recommendation that everyone – regardless of vaccination status – wear a mask when in indoor public settings and businesses. That comprehensive guidance was in effect from mid-February.

Instead, California will recommend wearing Universal masks only if a county’s COVID-19 community level — which indicates the rate of new coronavirus-positive hospitalizations — is high.


in the middle Change Slated to take effect Friday, is the end of state-ordered mandatory masking in prisons and prisons, homeless shelters, and emergency and cooling centers located in counties with low COVID-19 community levels, as by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been defined. ,

Appointment in that category – which was home As of last week, 35 of California’s 58 counties – indicating the pandemic is not having a major impact on hospitals. CDC updates its community-level assessment weekly, ranking counties into low, medium, or high.

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Facilities can make their own decisions on the use of masks, but if an outbreak occurs, re-masking will be required by the state in settings such as prisons and prisons, shelters and cooling centers, even if local COVID-19 community levels are low. Yes, as per the state health order. A county’s presence at a medium or high COVID-19 community level will result in a mask order in those settings.

Individual counties may also have more stringent rules.

Masks will be required in health facilities and long-term and senior care settings under the state health order. And the state requires that businesses and places, including K-12 schools, “must allow any person to wear a mask if they wish.”

“California people will receive information on when they should decide to wear a mask, including community spread rates and personal exposure,” Dr. Tomas Aragon, California’s director of public health and state health official, said in a statement. ,

They also reflect the continuing improvement of the Golden State’s pandemic metrics. For the seven-day period ending September 13, which is the most recent available, California had an average of about 5,900 cases a day — about a quarter of the peak of this heat wave.

The number of coronavirus positive hospitals across the state is also declining. Census at the peak of summer on 26 July hospitalization The coronavirus positive patients were 4,843. As of Monday, there were 2,313. Nevertheless, the figure is above the spring low of 949.

Even with the changes, when the COVID-19 community level is high, the California Department of Public Health says the wearing of masks in indoor public settings is recommended for people at low risk of serious illness and is strongly recommended for those at high risk.

According to the CDC, only three California counties — Merced, Madera and Kings, all in the Central Valley — still have high COVID-19 community levels. They account for less than 2% of the state’s population, with less than 600,000 residents.

When the COVID-19 community level is moderate, people at low risk of serious illness are advised to consider wearing masks in indoor public settings, while those at higher risk may be required to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces. It is recommended to install

About 8.7 million Californians, 22% of the state’s population, live in 20 counties with moderate COVID-19 community levels – San Bernardino, Sacramento, Fresno, Kern, Stanislaus, Sonoma, Tulare, Placer, Marin, Yolo, El Dorado, Imperial, Shasta, Humboldt, Mendocino, Tuolumne, Inyo, Mariposa, Trinity and Modoc.

When the COVID-19 community level is low, state health officials say people at low risk of serious illness may consider wearing masks, based on their personal preference, for their own individual level. informed of the risk. Those at higher risk are advised to consider wearing a mask in crowded public places.

More than three-quarters of Californians live in 35 counties with low COVID-19 community levels. These include Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and seven of the nine counties in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The use of a mask is still recommended if you have come into contact with the coronavirus as a “close contact” with an infected person. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA, goes one step further and Is necessary Employees exposed to coronavirus to wear masks for 10 days at work after their last exposure.

Exposure to the coronavirus is defined as sharing the same indoor air space for at least 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

Infected persons are still asked to stay at home for at least five days after the date of their first symptoms or their first positive test if they do not have symptoms. If they test negative on the rapid test, they can exit isolation as early as the sixth day, and usually end isolation as early as the 11th day without needing a negative test result.

But the state’s Department of Public Health recommends people who leave isolation between the sixth and 10th days wear a well-fitting mask when around other people, especially in indoor settings. Cal/OSHA goes one step further and requires recently infected employees to wear masks at work by the end of the 10th day after the onset of symptoms or their first positive test result.


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