On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidance on the use of face coverings, which replaces all prior face covering guidance.

Here are the details:

  • The new guidance is effective from 12/15/21 through 1/15/22.
  • It applies to individuals in all “indoor public settings.”  There is no definition provided, but the conservative approach is to require face coverings in all indoor workplaces.
  • The new guidance covers both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, unless they have a medical or mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a mask, are hearing impaired or communicating with someone who is hearing impaired and the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication, or for whom wearing a mask would create a workplace risk.

The guidance also requires a negative PCR test 48 hours before a “mega” event, or an antigen test 24 hours before the event.  Finally, travelers into California “should” take a COVID-19 test three to five days after arrival.

The CDPH suggests reviewing its publications “Get the Most out of Masking” and “Masking Guidance: Frequently Asked Questions” for more information.

Here are relevant links:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx#:~:text=Masks%20are%20required%20for%20all,%2Dlevel%20respirators%20are%20recommended) (new guidance)

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Get-the-Most-out-of-Masking.aspx (“Get the Most out of Masking”)

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Face-Coverings-QA.aspx (current FAQs)

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Beyond-Blueprint-Framework.aspx (mega events)

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Travel-Advisory.aspx (travel advisory)

Be careful out there.