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In Response to New CDC Guidelines, CDPH Recommends Masking for Public Indoor Settings to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 and the Delta Variant

Date: July 28, 2021
Number: NR21-234


With more than 90% of the state’s population in areas with substantial or high transmission, the California Department of Public Health recommends universal masking in indoor public settings


SACRAMENTO – In response to the spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and new CDC guidance calling for masking measures to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible and deadly Delta variant, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its Guidance for Face Coverings, recommending mask use for indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status.

“The Delta variant has caused a sharp increase in hospitalizations and case rates across the state. We are recommending masking in indoor public places to slow the spread while we continue efforts to get more Californians vaccinated,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer.

Under the CDC’s new guidance, more than 90% of California’s population is currently in areas designated as substantial or high transmission.

According to the CDC, getting vaccinated helps protect from the virus and the circulating variants, including the Delta variant that is now seen in the majority of California’s new cases.

California continues to work to increase vaccination rates across the state. This week, California took the nation-leading step of requiring state and health care employees to provide proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing. California had also led with its K-12 school guidance, requiring universal masking and other prevention measures as schools fully open for the upcoming school year.

CDPH is continuing to motivate businesses and local communities to encourage vaccination to prevent new outbreaks in areas of substantial and high transmission.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and free. Unvaccinated Californians can go to or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule their appointment or go to to find a walk-in clinic in their county.

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