California Now Recommends Masks in All Indoor Settings; San Jose Schools Mandate Vaccine or Tests for Teachers, Staff

In response to the spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and new CDC guidance calling for masking measures to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible and deadly Delta variant, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) July 28 updated its Guidance for Face Coverings, recommending mask use for indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.

“”The Delta variant has caused a sharp increase in hospitalizations and case rates across the state. We are recommending masking in indoor public places to slow the spread while we continue efforts to get more Californians vaccinated,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, the state public health officer.

Under the CDC’s new guidance, more than 90% of California’s population is currently in areas designated as substantial or high transmission, including all Bay Area counties. San Francisco and Alameda County are in the highest CDC category for community transmission. Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are in the next highest category, in maps released Wednesday.

According to the CDC, getting vaccinated helps protect from the virus and the circulating variants, including the Delta variant that is now seen in the majority of California’s new cases.

Earlier this week, California announced it is requiring all state and health care employees to provide proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing. California had also led with its K-12 school guidance, requiring universal masking and other prevention measures as schools fully open for the upcoming school year

The San Jose Unified School District told several news outlets Wednesday it will require teachers and staff to either be vaccinated or tested twice a week for the coronavirus, effective Aug. 1. District spokesperson Jennifer Maddox told The Mercury News, “I suspect that’s going to be the direction most districts go” as concerns grow about rising infection rates driven by the more contagious delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.

“Everyone has the same goal overall of keeping students and staff as safe as possible,” Maddox told the Mercury News.

More than 90% of San Jose Unified’s 2,700 teachers and staff already have been vaccinated, school officials said.

Maddox said.

San Jose Unified will also mandate that masks be worn inside and outside of school buildings, regardless of vaccination status — a step further than state public health guidelines, which only require masks indoors. While indoors, students will need to maintain three feet of distance between each other.


Also this week, the California State University System followed the state’s lead the next day, rolling out a requirement that staff and students who come to campus must be vaccinated by the end of September. Santa Clara County said it will have a similar policy for its employees.

State health officials said they are continuing to motivate businesses and local communities to encourage vaccination to prevent new outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.

Unvaccinated Californians can go to or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule their appointment or go to to find a walk-in clinic.

The CDC also updated its guidance to recommend all teachers, staff and students in K-12 schools wear masks, even if they are fully vaccinated. Children should return to full-time, in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place, including masking and vaccination, if they are eligible. There is consensus among all leading authorities—including the CDC, CDPH, and the American Academy of Pediatrics—that universal masking is the safest and surest approach to full in-person instruction.

As of July 28:

  • California has 3,822,551 confirmed cases to date. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
  • There were 6,849 newly reported confirmed cases Tuesday.
  • Cases are increasing statewide, largely among unvaccinated populations.
    • For the week of July 14-20, the average case rate among unvaccinated Californians is 20.7 per 100,000 per day and the average case rate among vaccinated Californians is significantly lower at 3.5 per 100,000 per day.
    • The vast majority of new cases are among the unvaccinated with 600% higher case rates among the unvaccinated than for those who are vaccinated.
  • The seven-day positivity rate is 5.9%.
  • There have been 73,252,199 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 116,448 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
  • There have been 63,849 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • Providers have reported administering a total of 43,663,282 vaccine doses statewide. The CDC reports that 49,539,695 doses have been delivered to entities within the state. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed. For more vaccination data, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Data Dashboard.



Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


  1. Of course there’s a spike in Covid-19 cases!!! The current scum bag of a President and his corrupt administration have allowed hundreds of thousands of Covid positive illegal immigrants pour into our country and into our communities.

  2. This is really dumb. If you look at the Santa Clara County dashboard for ICU and non-ICU hospitalizations they haven’t changed at all for months and are way down from January. Look at it yourself everyone. Don’t just read the headlines. The absurdity of this all really does need to end.

  3. Senile old JoeBiden’s immigration policies have been the nation’s biggest COVID SUPER SPREADER Event – over 1 MILLION illegal aliens have been arrested at the US-Mexico Border since Oct 2020. And it is not slowing – in June over 6,300 people on average have been encountered Criminally Crossing the border every day based on the 21-day average – and “Got-Aways” adds another 30%- 50% more Illegal Crossings.
    In February, 10% of migrant detainees TESTED POSITIVE for the Coronavirus – 17% higher than the overall US population.

  4. Steven – the internet is fairly easy to use – multiple sources – do your homework, try the search engine of your choice (even the ones that promote liberal biased news). Try the highly biased news source cnn, also try axios, nbc news, fox news and the DHS “Of the more than 700 unaccompanied migrant minors who were transported to the San Diego Convention Center from Texas, roughly 10% have tested positive for COVID-19, according to multiple news reports citing health officials.”
    NBC reports “Since the City started testing the migrants on January 25, there has been 6.3% of positive cases. The Cameron County positivity rate is 13.8%.”
    Maybe ask “Whataburger” employees how business is now that the hotel nest door is full of Covid positive illegals that taxpayers are paying to house. “Texas police learn COVID-positive illegal immigrants sent to local hotels, after Whataburger encounter” Authorities became aware of the matter after apprehended border crossers reported they tested Positive and were exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 inside the fast food restaurant – coughing & sneezing and not adhering to health guidelines, including the wearing of masks.

  5. This is perfect timing for the recall Gavin campaign. Thank you thank you thank you CDC!! Next Gavin will close the schools, parks, restaurants, beaches and playgrounds. The fires and choking smoky air along with the electrical power flickering on and off are happening already.

  6. Steven, lol.. come on man, whining about sources as expected – try some diversity of thought. But hey, if it makes you feel good, you go on sniffing the Huff Poo and believing WaPo and Mother Jones..and this extreme Gaslighting Biden Admin.
    Bless your heart if you believe..
    Senile old Joe: when he insists “the Surge Is Normal”.. when it’s setting records.
    Mayorkas: “.. the Border Is Closed and that we enforce the laws that Congress has passed..”
    Psaki: “Border influx – Not A Crisis..”
    Psaki: “..most illegal crossers are being turned back” when officials at the border report the reverse.
    Border Czar “H-U” Harris: “..we have seen Extreme Progress over the last few months” at the border.
    No wonder Team Biden has restricted media access, even though Left Biased reporters focus mainly on the Feds failure to help the migrants enough.
    It’s amazing that they keep all these lies coming, but apparently they have no idea what else to do.
    How much else is the Biden administration lying about?

  7. StevenG, Are you typing with 2 pair of rubber gloves? ..maybe your glasses are fogged up from your triple masking and face shield? Or are you hitting the CAPS LOCK key as you frantically wipe down your keyboard after each comment post?
    As I pointed out the other day ..the internet is fairly easy to use – try any search engine you like – but here is a little help my friend.. Study the link below – you seem to be STUCK my friend..
    How to Turn Off Caps Lock
    This wikiHow teaches you how to Turn OFF Caps Lock, which causes you to type in all capital letters, on a Windows or Mac computer. Turning off Caps Lock on a functional computer is as simple as pressing the “Caps Lock” key again.

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