California to end mask mandate for the vaccinated next week
People in California who are vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer be required to wear masks inside starting next week.
Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the change on Monday, adding that unvaccinated people will still be required to mask after the statewide mandate expires on Feb. 15.
“Our statewide indoor mask requirement will expire on 2/15. Unvaccinated people will still need to wear masks indoors,” Newsom said in a tweet.
“Get vaccinated. Get boosted,” he added.
A spokesperson from the governor’s office also said on Monday that the state will continue to require that children in schools are masked but will monitor data and adjust accordingly with any changes in the coming weeks, according to NBC News.
Local governments will still be permitted to impose their own masking policies throughout California.
California brought its statewide indoor mask mandate back in December as the highly contagious omicron variant drove a surge in coronavirus infections in the state and across the world.
After hospitalizations in California peaked last month, they have since fallen by 65 percent, the governor said Monday.
Data from the state indicates that unvaccinated people have consistently made up the majority of hospitalizations.
The Coronavirus Resource Center from Johns Hopkins University reported 6,943 new cases in California on Monday, down from a record high of 207,245 on Jan. 16.
Just over 70 percent of California’s population is fully vaccinated, the data also showed.