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CDPH Requires Masking for All Public Indoor Settings to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 In Response to Increasing Case Rates and Hospitalizations

Date: December 13, 2021
Number: NR21-352
Contact: CDPHpress@cdph.ca.gov

With case rates increasing 47% since Thanksgiving, the California Department of Public Health will require universal masking to increase protection to individuals, families, and communities during the holidays.

SACRAMENTO –The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to monitor COVID-19 data in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians. Since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by almost half (47%) and hospitalizations have increased by 14%. In response to the increase in cases and hospitalizations, and to slow the spread of both Delta and the highly transmissible Omicron variant, CDPH has issued updated guidance to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. 

Beginning December 15, CDPH will require masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through January 15, 2022, at which point California will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic. 

Additionally, CDPH updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now require either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.

CDPH also issued a new travel advisory effective immediately to recommend that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.  

"Our collective actions can save lives this holiday season. We are already seeing a higher level of transmission this winter and it is important to act now to prevent overwhelming our busy hospitals so we can provide quality health care to all Californians. All Californians should get vaccinated and receive their booster. Getting your whole family up to date on vaccination is the most important action you can take to get through the pandemic and to protect yourself from serious impacts from the virus and its variants. Testing and masking remain important tools in slowing the spread," said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. "Starting Wednesday, California will require masking in all public indoor places during the holiday season regardless of vaccination status. Attendees of large events will be required to show either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event. Additionally, California has issued a travel alert to recommend that all travelers get tested within three to five days of their arrival in California. Vaccines and these temporary measures will allow friends and families to safely spend the holidays together and will add critical layers of protection to keep people safe." 

Statewide COVID-19 Data

Today, the California Department of Public Health(CDPH) released the most recent statistics on COVID-19 and updates on the state's pandemic response. The most up to date data is available on the state's COVID-19 data dashboard.

Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations. See the data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

  • Unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 (data from November 21, 2021 to November 27, 2021 ).

  • Unvaccinated people were 12.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from November 14, 2021 to November 20, 2021).
  • Unvaccinated people were 13.0 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from November 7, 2021 to November 13, 2021).

CA COVID-19 by the numbers

Vaccinations

  • 61,315,927 total vaccines administered.
  • 77.7% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.
  • 210,409 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days). 

Cases

  • California has 4,886,509 confirmed cases to date.
  • Today's average case count is 5,825 (average daily case count over 7 days). 

Testing

  • The testing positivity rate is 2.2 % (average rate over 7 days). 

Hospitalizations

  • There are 3,804 hospitalizations statewide.
  • There are 967 ICU patients statewide. 

Deaths

  • There have been 74,685 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 claims the lives of 51 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

ADDITIONAL UPDATES

Omicron Variant

The recent emergence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of getting a vaccine, booster, and taking prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. As of December 12, 2021, 24 confirmed cases associated with the Omicron variant have been reported to the state. This number will be updated weekly with the other variants California is currently monitoring on the CDPH Tracking Variants webpage. For more information about the Omicron variant, see the Omicron variant fact sheet.

Stop the Spread: Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases.

It is recommended that every vaccinated adult 18 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting myturn.ca.gov or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.

Your Actions Save Lives

Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

  • Celebrate safely: Take commonsense steps this holiday season to protect yourself, your family and your community as you celebrate the holiday season.
  • Upgrade your mask: Good fit and filtration continue to be the best way to get the most out of your mask. The best masks for preventing COVID-19 include the N95, KN95 and KF94. If you don't have access to one of these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top. If you choose a fabric mask, opt for one with three of more cloth layers. No matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the nose or on the sides.
  • Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu: It's your turn now! It's recommended for everyone over six months of age to be vaccinated for the flu. For COVID-19, Californians age 5+ are eligible to make appointments or go to a walk-in site for vaccination. You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines on the same day.
  • My Vaccine Record is an easy way to show vaccination status at venues or businesses that require proof of vaccination. Visit myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov today to get your vaccine record.
  • Stay Home & Get Tested if Sick: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), or believe you have been exposed,  get tested, call your health care provider, and stay home and away from others. Free, confidential testing is available statewide. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Travel tips: Delay travel (both domestic and international) until you are fully vaccinated. If you must travel before being fully vaccinated, consider getting tested before and after travel. See the CDC's full travel guidance.
  • Avoid crowded venues or areas when cases are high.
  • Add your phone to the fight:  Sign up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
  • Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.
  • Check with your local health department about local conditions. Local health jurisdictions can implement protocols that are stricter than state guidance. 

      Tracking COVID-19 in California

      Health Care Workers

      • As of December 9, local health departments have reported 131,821 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 531 deaths statewide.

      Testing Turnaround Time

      • The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of November 28 to December 4, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.0 day. During this same time period, 75% of patients received test results in one day and 97% received them within two days.

      Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

      • As of December 6, there have been 731 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.

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