California is reissuing a month-long statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces starting Wednesday, Dec. 15, health officials announced Monday, Dec. 13.
The latest masking order, which will remain in effect until Jan. 15, comes as California’s daily COVID-19 case rate has risen by 47% over the last 2½ weeks. The order also comes on the heels of the coronavirus variant Omicron spreading throughout the world.
“We know people are tired and hungry for normalcy. Frankly, I am too,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said during a Monday press briefing. “That said, this is a critical time where we have a tool that we know has worked and can work.”
As of Monday, the state was seeing 14 cases per 100,000 people. In Orange County, it was 9.2 cases per 100,000, according to the same data.
According to news outlets, travelers returning to or visiting California are also recommended to get tested three to five days ahead of arrival. And unvaccinated individuals looking to attend indoor events where there will be 1,000 people or more will have to provide a negative test within one or two days.