The state of California is reportedly bringing back its indoor mask mandate, which will apply to everyone, whether or not they have gotten their COVID-19 jabs.
The updated policy was announced on Monday by California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, who cited a spike in COVID-19 cases in the state since Thanksgiving.
“This is a critical time,” Ghaly said. “We have a tool we know has worked and can work. We are proactively putting this tool of universal indoor masking in place to ensure we get through a time of joy and hope without a darker cloud of despair. Californians have done this before, and we believe we can do it again.”
The requirement will go into effect tomorrow and is set to last until at least January 15, when officials will reevaluate it.
Many CA counties already do, but now all must require masks in indoor public spaces.
— Doug Sovern (@SovernNation) December 13, 2021
“We know that there’s going to be people who don’t necessarily agree with this, who are tired, who aren’t going to mask,” Ghaly added, according to Yahoo News. “We hope that those are few and far between, that most people see the purpose of doing this over the next month as something to protect them and their communities during a very tough time.”
Since the start of this pandemic, California Governor Gavin Newsom has been aggressive with his COVID-19 mandates. Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who unsuccessfully ran against Newsom, has been trying to get the Democratic-dominated Legislature to end the state’s emergency declaration.
“I think that people are incredibly frustrated with this notion that these choices should be made by one person rather than in the way that our country and state are supposed to work, which is all of us together having a say and having the freedom to make choices for ourselves,” Kiley said. “Gavin Newsom is taking actions that go far beyond what any other governor or any other state has done.”
Other states that have similar mask mandates to California include Washington, Oregon, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Hawaii, and New York. However, other Democrat governors have resisted putting this kind of restriction back in place, with Democrat Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado telling Colorado Public Radio last week that “the emergency is over” and “public health (officials) don’t get to tell people what to wear.”