Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 15, the California Department of Public Health will require masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through Jan. 15, 2022, when California will make further recommendations in response to the pandemic.
Additionally, CDPH updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now require either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.
The state continues to monitor COVID-19 data in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians. Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by almost half (47%) and hospitalizations have increased by 14%. In response to the increase in cases and hospitalizations, and to slow the spread of both Delta and the highly transmissible Omicron variant, CDPH has issued updated guidance to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.
State public health officials also issued a new travel advisory effective immediately to recommend that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.
"Our collective actions can save lives this holiday season. We are already seeing a higher level of transmission this winter and it is important to act now to prevent overwhelming our busy hospitals so we can provide quality health care to all Californians. All Californians should get vaccinated and receive their booster. Getting your whole family up to date on vaccination is the most important action you can take to get through the pandemic and to protect yourself from serious impacts from the virus and its variants. Testing and masking remain important tools in slowing the spread," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer.
"Starting Wednesday, California will require masking in all public indoor places during the holiday season regardless of vaccination status,” he said in a statement late Monday.
“Attendees of large events will be required to show either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. Additionally, California has issued a travel alert to recommend that all travelers get tested within three to five days of their arrival in California. Vaccines and these temporary measures will allow friends and families to safely spend the holidays together and will add critical layers of protection to keep people safe."
Individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings in the following specific settings:
- Persons in a car alone or solely with members of their own household.
- Persons who are working in a closed office or in a room alone. Note: Masks must be worn in general offices spaces(even when not occupied by others) when others use those spaces to pass through.
- Persons who are actively eating or drinking provided that they are able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet away from persons who are not members of the same household or residence.
- Persons who are outdoors and maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from others not in their household. Such persons must have a face covering with them at all times and must put it on if they are within 6 feet of others who are not in their household.
- Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.
Surgical masks, medical procedure masks or respirators or masks made from a tightly woven material or unwoven material if it is at least two layers are all acceptable forms of face coverings. Bandanas, gators, scarves or other single layer face coverings are not proper face coverings according to the CDC and should not be worn as an alternative to a mask.
Statewide COVID-19 Data
The California Department of Public Health(CDPH) released the most recent statistics on COVID-19 and updates on the state's pandemic response. The most up-to-date data is available on the state's COVID-19 data dashboard.
Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations. See the data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
- Unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 (data from Nov. 21 to Nov. 27, ).
- Unvaccinated people were 12.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from Nov. 14 to Nov. 20).
- Unvaccinated people were 13.0 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from Nov. 7 to Nov. 13).
- 61,315,927 total vaccines administered.
- 77.7% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
- 210,409 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).
- California has 4,886,509 confirmed cases to date.
- Dec.13 average case count is 5,825 (average daily case count over 7 days).
- The testing positivity rate is 2.2 % (average rate over 7 days).
- There are 3,804 hospitalizations statewide.
- There are 967 ICU patients statewide.
- There have been 74,685 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
- COVID-19 claims the lives of 51 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).
The recent emergence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of getting a vaccine, booster, and taking prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. As of Dec. 12, 24 confirmed cases associated with the Omicron variant have been reported to the state. This number will be updated weekly with the other variants California is currently monitoring on the CDPH Tracking Variants webpage. For more information about the Omicron variant, see the Omicron variant fact sheet.
Stop the Spread
The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases.
It is recommended that every vaccinated adult 18 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting myturn.ca.gov or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more.