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California will end mask mandate on Feb. 15, lifts negative test requirement to visit hospitals, nursing homes

Posted: 3:27 PM, Feb 07, 2022
Updated: 2022-02-07 19:49:46-05
Shopping masks

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — California will end the statewide indoor mask mandate on Feb. 15. In addition, the state is also lifting negative test requirements to visit hospitals, nursing homes. Meantime, health officials say they are continuing to evaluate the masking requirement for schoolchildren.

In a tweet, Governor Gavin Newsom said "CA’s case rate has decreased by 65% since our Omicron peak. Our hospitalizations have stabilized across the state. Our statewide indoor mask requirement will expire on 2/15. Unvaccinated people will still need to wear masks indoors."

Governor Newsom’s administration brought back the masking mandate in mid-December as the omicron variant gained momentum, and last month extended it through Feb. 15. State health officials said Monday the mandate will end that day.

Local health officials can continue their own requirements, however.

The state also is lifting a requirement that people test negative before visiting hospitals and nursing homes, effective immediately.

Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon are also dropping their mask mandates.

This is a developing story. More information as it becomes available.

23ABC In-Depth

Confusion over the effectiveness of masks has been an issue since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, early on, the United States Surgeon General had to delete a tweet in which he said masks weren't effective for the general public.

Now, the narrative is that masks do work to some degree but cloth and surgical masks aren't very effective. State health officials said people who wear the N-95 respirators indoors were about 80-percent less likely to test positive than someone who didn't. The study also determined that consistently wearing any mask indoors cuts the odds in half for testing positive.

However, the researchers also admitted the study had significant limitations.

And we are getting closer to reaching vaccination goals when it comes to the coronavirus. 23ABC took an in-depth look at the most recent data from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kern County Public Health.

The CDC is reporting 212 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. That's 64-percent of all Americans. More than 89 million Americans have been boosted, or 27-percent of the population.

Meanwhile in Kern County over one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to local residents. Kern County Public Health also reported that currently 50-percent of Kern’s total population have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.