King empire

California reinstates indoor mask mandate – The King City Rustler

California will once again require residents to wear masks in indoor public places across the state, amid uncertainty surrounding the rapid spread of the omicron coronavirus variant and rising rates of cases as they approach holidays.

The mandate will come into effect on Wednesday and will remain so until at least January 15, state officials said on Monday. The state will also require unvaccinated people participating in so-called mega-events to show proof of a negative coronavirus test result within the day if it is an antigen test and in those cases. two days for a PCR test. Additionally, the state has formally recommended that travelers returning to California get tested within days of arrival.

“We know people are tired and thirsty for normalcy,” Dr Mark Ghaly, Secretary of State for Health and Human Services, told reporters.

But he said science has shown that even a relatively small increase in indoor masking can help prevent the virus from spreading, which in turn can help keep hospitals from filling up.

Ghaly said statewide case rates have risen 47% since Thanksgiving, but those increases have been concentrated in parts of the state – like the Inland Empire, east of Los Angeles, and the vast central valley – where a smaller share of the population has been vaccinated.

These are, by and large, the same places where mask warrants have not been in place for some time. In other areas, such as Los Angeles County, residents have had to wear masks indoors for months since the emergence of the Delta variant.

For Californians, the imposition of a new round of pandemic restrictions in mid-December is an unwelcome echo of the catastrophic winter of last year.

Last December, state officials – where residents had already lived under some of the country’s toughest closures for nearly a year – imposed a curfew and new stay-at-home orders in a frenzied effort to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed.

Ghaly said the mask’s mandate was meant to avoid any further restrictions, and he urged Californians to adhere to it, even in the absence of strict enforcement.

“Part of what we’re doing today is making sure these conversations stay off the table,” he said, referring to other measures, such as trade capacity limits. “I think we have the tools to keep California reasonably safe and protected.”

On Monday, New York state began requiring people to wear masks indoors in public if full proof of vaccination was not required, a policy that is in effect until at least January 15. Companies that do not require customers to be masked could face civil and criminal penalties, including fines of up to $ 1,000 per violation, and local health departments are responsible for the application.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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