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California updates mask guidance and health care facilities requirements in response to rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its Guidance for Face Coverings, in response to new CDC guidance recommending mask use for public indoor settings to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the delta variant.

Effective July 28, 2021, masks are required for all individuals in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status:

  • On public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation)
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare
  • Emergency shelters and cooling centers
  • Healthcare settings
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Congregate settings such as homeless shelters
  • Long Term Care Settings & Adult and Senior Care Facilities

Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals and recommended for fully vaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public). It is important to wear a mask if you are around someone that is high risk, with unvaccinated children or with people whose vaccination status is unknown especially indoors. 

In settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals, businesses, venue operators or hosts may choose to:

  • Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
  • Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
  • Require all patrons to wear masks.

For complete information and FAQs on the State’s current mask guidance, click here.

In addition to updated mask guidance, the State issued a new order requiring certain high-risk health care facilities, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, high-risk congregate settings and other health care settings, to verify vaccine status of all workers. Additional requirements on respirators/masks and testing for unvaccinated workers also apply in these settings. For more information on the health order and all facilities impacted, click here.

The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) advises all residents to refer to the CDPH’s guidance regarding masks and requirements for high-risk health care facilities. HCA strongly encourages everyone to avoid large crowds, where it is easy for the virus to pass from person to person.  It also encourages those who have not yet been vaccinated to schedule a vaccination appointment as soon as possible by visiting www.Othena.com or calling the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000. 

Between July 21 and July 27, Orange County experienced an increase in the seven-day average case rate, from 6.5 to 8.6 per 100,000 people, with the average number of daily COVID-19 cases increasing from 210 to 279. The positivity rate also increased from 3.6 percent to 5.2 percent, hospitalizations from 149 to 215 per day, and ICU admissions from 39 to 56 per day. According to the CDPH, from January 1 to July 14, 99% of COVID-19 cases in California were among unvaccinated people.

Orange County COVID-19 case counts, and testing figures are updated daily, Monday through Friday, at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

This article was released by the Orange County Health Care Agency.