The United States is still in battle against the new wave of COVID-19 due to the Ómicron variant, but given the decrease in cases throughout the country, there are states that will begin to remove health restrictions, as is the case of the mandatory use of masks or masks.
The first states to take this measure are California and New York, which will have specific rules so that people can stay protected, since, although there is a decrease in infections, they are still happening.
California will end its indoor mask requirement for vaccinated people next week, but masks remain the rule for school-age children, state health officials announced Monday amid a rapid drop in coronavirus cases.
After Feb. 15, unvaccinated people will still be required to wear masks indoors, and everyone, vaccinated or not, will be required to wear the mask in higher-risk areas such as public transportation and nursing homes and other crowdsourcing facilities, officials said. Local governments can continue with their own indoor mask requirements and last week, Los Angeles County health officials said they intend to keep theirs past the state deadline.
State officials also announced that indoor “mega-events” with more than 1,000 people will require vaccinations or negative tests for attendees and those who are not vaccinated will be required to wear masks. For outdoor events with more than 10,000 people, there is no vaccination requirement, but the use of masks or proof of a negative test is recommended.
Those thresholds increase from the current 500 attendees for indoor events and 5000 attendees for outdoor events. The threshold increase comes after Sunday’s Super Bowl that will draw up to 100,000 football fans to SoFi Stadium outside Of Los Angeles.With coronavirus cases falling rapidly, California is also eliminating the requirement that people submit a negative coronavirus test before visiting hospitals and nursing homes, effective immediately.
“Ómicron has loosened its grip on California, vaccines for children under 5 are just around the corner, and access to COVID-19 treatments is improving,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, the state’s Public Health Officer. “With things moving in the right direction, we are making responsible modifications to COVID-19 prevention measures, while continuing to develop a long-term action plan for the state.”
California Mask Mandate: Who Should No Longer Wear Masks and In Which Counties the Restriction Follows
Local authorities announced that next week (Feb. 14) masks will no longer be mandatory in enclosed public places, but will only apply in counties that do not have local orders to wear masks.
Counties that continue with mask mandates in California are:
- San Diego
- San Bernardino
- San Joaquin Valley
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco Bay
Face masks will remain mandatory indoors for unvaccinated residents and for everyone in nursing homes and on public transportation.
“Omicron has loosened its dominance in California, vaccines for children under 5 are just around the corner, and access to COVID-19 treatments is improving. As things are going in the right direction, we are making responsible modifications to COVID-19 prevention measures, while continuing to develop a longer-term action plan for the state,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, the state’s public health officer.
New York Mask Mandate: Who Should No Longer Wear Masks and In Which Counties the Restriction Follows
The state of New York is in a different situation and that is that it is in a legal dispute between the government and the protests for this mandate. On Monday, a judge struck down the state’s mask mandate, saying the governor and the Health Department had no authority to enact the law without the legislature’s approval. In the state, violators can receive fines of up to $1000 and other civil and criminal penalties. The mandate has been removed, but it remains in place in schools.