California to lift indoor mask mandate


California officials announced Monday they will lift the state’s indoor mask mandate next week for vaccinated individuals.

After taking effect on Dec. 15, 2021, the mandate was set to expire on Jan. 15, 2022. But, the state extended the mandate through Feb. 15, the date it will now be lifted.

“CA’s case rate has decreased by 65% since our Omicron peak. Our hospitalizations have stabilized across the state,” Gov. Gavin Newsom stated in a tweet. “Our statewide indoor mask requirement will expire on 2/15. Unvaccinated people will still need to wear masks indoors. Get vaccinated. Get boosted.”

State officials did not announce plans to lift the requirement for children to wear masks at school. But, the California Department of Public Health stated in a press release that adjustments to the state’s mask policies for schoolchildren are in the works and will be disclosed in the coming week.

Additionally, California is keeping in place its mask requirement for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in settings like public transit and congregate living. 

San Luis Obispo County still has its own indoor mask mandate, which has been in place since Sept. 1. County officials have not indicated whether or not they will lift the mandate.