Newsom defies CDC guidance, will wait until June 15 to ditch COVID-19 mask mandate

LOS ANGELES (KUSI) – California will wait until June 15 to align with federal guidance that no longer requires people fully vaccinated against COVID- 19 to wear face coverings, officials said Monday.

The June date is when state officials are expected to lift most virus-related restrictions if current positive trends continue.

“Until June 15, when California plans to fully reopen the economy, California will keep our existing guidance around masks in place,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance, saying that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can largely stop wearing a mask in most indoor and outdoor situations.

That announcement, however, did not immediately reverse existing mask-wearing requirements in San Diego.

“Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

The new CDC guidance does not completely drop mask recommendations for vaccinated people. Face coverings are still recommended in some settings — such as aboard planes and buses or in crowded settings such as hospitals.

Supermarket chains including Trader Joe’s, Costco and Walmart have dropped the mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers, though store officials said they will not be asking for proof of vaccination.

The states who lifted mask mandates months ago haven’t seen a rise in cases, despite warning from the CDC, and President Biden calling the move, “neanderthal thinking.”

Throughout his presidency, Biden has brought on confusion about the mask regulations, as he wears them outside alone, and even on a Zoom call with world leaders. But, President Biden did not wear one while inside with former President Carter, while being fully vaccinated.

San Diego County will follow the state’s lead and wait until June 15 to align with federal guidance that no longer requires people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear face coverings, a county officials said Monday.

San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher confirmed the decision to adhere to the state’s guidance.

“San Diego County is aligned with the California Department of Public Health and will wait until June 15 to adopt CDC mask guidance,” Fletcher said. “This short time frame allows us to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine and time for business and entities across our county to prepare for the change.

“There is significant planning already associated with the June 15 movement “beyond the blueprint” and this change will align well with those efforts, he continued. “Our careful posture during the pandemic has resulted in a low positivity rate and one of the lowest death rates; continuing the mask requirements for a few more weeks provides an added layer of protection as we work on getting more San Diegans vaccinated. Masks definitely help more than they hurt.”

Categories: California News, Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News