Those looking forward to removing their masks in public may have to wait just a little while longer, as the California Department of Public Health announced that the state would still be enforcing a masking mandate until California’s reopening date of June 15.

After the Center for Disease Control announced on May 13 that those who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be required to wear masks in public, the California Department of Public Health released a brief statement that same day that it would look into the CDC’s new masking guidelines over the weekend.

On Monday, the state held a media briefing and later sent out a statement, stating that California, for the interim, will still require people to wear masks in public settings as outlined in its current masking guidelines, regardless of their vaccination status.

“On June 15, California plans to implement the CDC’s guidelines around masking to allow fully vaccinated Californians to go without a mask in most indoor settings. This four-week period will give Californians time to prepare for this change while we continue our relentless focus on delivering vaccines, particularly in underserved communities,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

California’s current masking guidelines are as follows:

• For fully vaccinated persons, face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.

• For unvaccinated persons, face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained, including when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.

In indoor settings outside of one's home, including public transportation, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status.

As defined in the CDPH Fully Vaccinated Persons Guidance, fully vaccinated people can:

• Visit, without wearing masks or physical distancing, with other fully vaccinated people in indoor or outdoor settings; and

• Visit, without wearing masks or physical distancing, with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease in indoor and outdoor settings

According to CDPH, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen ).

More information about the state’s COVID-19 guidelines can be found at covid19.ca.gov.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be made through myturn.ca.gov.

• Contact Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 209-835-3030.

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