California hates to feel left out. So with all the other states playing Russian Roulette with masks, we decided we wanted in. As of yesterday, California lifted the indoor mask mandate for all vaccinated people. Kids in K-12 will be required to wear mask inside classrooms, but they will be allowed to remove them outside the classroom. They will reassess the need for students to keep masks on inside in two weeks. The new rules do allow for individual counties to make their own mask rules though. So counties can choose to continue to enforce masks in their area.
California health officials will lift the statewide COVID-19 indoor mask mandate in public settings for vaccinated people on Feb.16 at 12:01 a.m. Children, however, are still required to keep their masks on at school for at least another two weeks.
Health & Human Services Agency Sec. Dr. Mark Ghaly announced Monday in a press conference that the state will reassess the current mask requirement for schools on Feb. 28.
Most Southern California counties, with the exception of Los Angeles County, will follow the state’s lead and lift their indoor mask mandates as omicron cases decrease. Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties will lift universal mask requirements for most indoor public settings beginning Wednesday, Feb. 16.
Some officials argue that COVID’s spread has also waned significantly across the region and that relaxing mask requirements is part of a shift toward a “new normal” of living with the virus rather than attempting to snuff out its spread completely.
Public health officials, however, are still encouraging indoor mask use.
“As we move from a requirement to a strong recommendation, I keep saying it that way because it’s important to understand that we’re not lifting a masking concept in California. We aren’t going from masks one day, don’t mask the next,” Ghaly said.
Woo-hoo! The timing is perfect. I mean, it’s not like we just had a national super spreader event with hundreds of thousands of people from every state packed in one space in one of our most populated cities. What could go wrong? And California knows what we’re doing too. Remember that we got out in front of COVID at the very beginning. We took extreme measures and bent the curve before that was every thought possible. And as soon as those numbers went down, we opened our doors like a department store on Black Friday, leading to infected rates so terrifying, out EMTs were forced to make in-home triage assessment due to lack of hospital beds. So excuse me if I don’t jump for joy about the masks coming off. Because despite Mark Ghaly’s claim that, “we aren’t going from masks one day, don’t mask the next,” that’s exactly what we’re going to do. My friend and I got a bite to eat before our movie on Tuesday. We decided to sit at the bar because we had a whole side to ourselves. A guy approached us maskless and he extended his hand to shake ours. We just stared at his hand as if we didn’t know what it was – who does that today? And I love a good handshake, like actually miss them. But I don’t know who you are or why you are standing a foot from my face, inside, without a mask on. Get out of here so I can take my mask off and finish my wine, you dolt!
LA County said they’re sticking with indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccinated status. LA city might enforce it, but I doubt my city will, even though we are LA county. Masks will start disappearing is my guess. I think we have a pretty high vaccination rate, so that’s good. But I just got a second letter this month that my son has been exposed to COVID from school. I’m not worried for myself. My circle and my kids’ circles are conscientious. They are all vaccinated and wear their masks the entire time they hang out together. But I worry about the other people out there, the ones who don’t get to be as selective with whom they spend time with. I’ll wear my mask until our numbers are negligible. It’s not impinging my life in any way and if it’s keeping me and the folks around me safe, great.
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