Newsom: California to Update Mask Mandates

Though he thinks, for now, indoor mandates will still apply
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2021 12:01 AM CDT
Newsom: California Will Update Mask Mandates
In this Jan. 8, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom removes his face mask during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File)

California is fully reopening its economy June 15, and it will be making some changes to its mask mandates, too. "We will be updating our mask guidelines, outdoor masking, if we reach that threshold where we hope to be ... in fact, it will be eliminated, those mandates," Newsom said at a press conference Wednesday, per the Los Angeles Times. He noted, however, that the state will likely still have mandates and guidelines related to indoor activities, though "we hope, sooner than later, that those will be lifted as well." California has the lowest rate in the country of people testing positive for COVID-19, at just 1.1%. About 52% of the state's population has had at least one vaccine dose, CNN reports.

As the AP reports, that was a walking-back of comments he'd made the day prior in an interview with Fox 11. "We're not wearing face coverings" come June 15, he had said Tuesday. "We're not restricted in any way, shape, or form from doing the old things that we used to do, save for huge, large-scale indoor convention events like that, where we use our common sense." California's current mandate requires anyone indoors with people outside their household to wear masks, unless all are fully vaccinated. Asked to clarify Newsom's comments, a rep for the California Department of Public Health said the state will “continue to update face coverings guidance as appropriate, with the goal of continuing to loosen restrictions as more people get vaccinated." (More coronavirus stories.)

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