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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 myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule their appointment or go to myturn.ca.gov/clinic to find a walk-in clinic in their county.