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Updates as of May 2, 2022:
COVID-19 cases and hospitalization are declining across the state. This is due in large part to the collective efforts of Californians to get vaccinated and wear masks. Vaccination continues to remain the ultimate exit strategy out of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalization, and death from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While the percentage of Californians who have completed their primary series and received a booster dose continues to increase, we also have areas of the state where vaccine coverage is low, putting individuals and communities at greater risk for COVID-19.
On June 15, 2021, California fully reopened the economy and moved beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. All sectors listed in the Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart (PDF) returned to usual operations (with the limited exceptions noted below for Mega Events).
Large, indoor events, however, continue to have the potential to cause large, substantial, and severe outbreaks. Large events involve several factors that increase the risk of transmission including (a) persons attending often travel from outside the immediate area, from areas with higher levels of transmission, and some types of travel may increase the risk of exposure; (b) events have prolonged duration; (c) crowding is common in large events; (d) masks are removed for eating and drinking; and (e) the larger the number of people gathered in crowded settings, the greater the likelihood that contagious persons are present and the more individuals who are exposed with the potential of becoming infected and spreading infections within their families, communities, schools, and workplaces.
The risk of spreading COVID-19 is decreased when all parties are vaccinated. Vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result verification, especially indoors, remains an important strategy to reduce transmission in large gatherings, especially where masks are removed for eating, drinking and where activities (like singing, yelling, or cheering) that increase transmission risk are occurring, even when masks are being worn.
In response to the emergence of the more transmissible Omicron variant in late 2021:
Effective April 1, 2022, the requirement for vaccine verification or proof of negative tests for attendees at Indoor Mega Events will be lifted and will move to a strong recommendation. This shift acknowledges that while case rates and hospitalizations are declining statewide from their peak during the Omicron surge, Indoor Mega Events continue to involve several factors that increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
These recommendations will continue to be updated as CDPH continues to assess conditions on an ongoing basis. California must be vigilant to maintain situational awareness through surveillance and be ready to pause or reinstate a higher level of protective mitigation recommendations or requirements.
In workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.
Mega Events are characterized by large crowds greater than 1,000 indoor OR 10,000 outdoor attendees. Mega Events may have either assigned or unassigned seating, and may be either general admission or gated, ticketed, and permitted events. Mega Events do not include venues such as shopping malls or museums that are open to public circulation as part of their regular operations, except to the extent that such venues host qualifying events.
Mega Events are considered higher risk for COVID transmission because:
In addition to the general public health recommendations:
For Outdoor Mega Events (example: music or food festivals/car shows/large endurance events and marathons/parades/sporting events and concerts) venue hosts and operators are recommended to follow the mitigation measures above, as well as the additional general public health recommendations.
* Completed Primary Series
** Pre-entry negative testing
 Any requirements continue to be recommended but not mandatory for places of worship meeting the definition of a mega event.
Originally Published on May 21, 2021