SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Even though some in the Golden State are ready to rip off their face coverings, California will follow the federal health guidelines of not having to wear masks on June 15, the same day the state is slated to reopen, state health officials said on Monday. This will apply to vaccinated residents.
While people don't currently have to wear masks now in California outside, Dr. Mark Ghaly clarified that masks will be required in indoor settings "regardless of vaccination status" until June 15.
Waiting about a month gives more Californians the opportunity to get vaccinated, Ghaly said during a coronavirus updae over the phone.
"Now that they see there will be less masking out in their communities, they see this is the week to be vaccinated," Dr. Ghaly said.
As for what to do about ensuring that people are indeed vaccinated and won't lie about it: Ghaly said that's why he is giving authorities a chance to figure that out.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
"If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask," he said, summarizing the new guidance and encouraging more Americans to roll up their sleeves. "Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do."
The guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but it will help clear the way for reopening workplaces, schools and other venues — even removing the need for social distancing for those who are fully vaccinated.