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California reinstates indoor mask mandate for one month amid new COVID-19 increase

December 13, 2021

California is reinstating an indoor mask mandate starting this Wednesday until Jan. 15. Los Angeles County already has a mask mandate in place, but other parts of the state have been maskless for months.

Amid a new increase in COVID-19 cases, the state of California is reimposing a statewide mask mandate on indoor activities for one month, state officials announced Monday.

The mandate will take effect from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, 2022, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state Health & Human Services Agency.

Many counties across California, covering about 50% of the state’s population, already have such mask mandates in place, Ghaly noted. The state rule will cover those counties that do not.

The new rules require the wearing of masks in all indoor public settings.

“Even a 10% increase in indoor masking can reduce case transmission significantly,” Ghaly noted.

Ghaly said the state has seen a 47% increase in COVID case rates across California since Thanksgiving, increasing from 9.6 cases per 100,000 Californians to now more than 14 per 100,000.

He said case rates in LA and the Bay Area remain relatively low, but other areas, particularly those with low vaccination rates, are seeing bigger increases and strained hospital capacity.