California Extends Indoor Mask Mandate Amid Omicron Surge

File – An usher at TD Garden holds a sign reminding people to wear a mask during the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, in Boston. Workers and customers at restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses in Boston will be required to show proof of coronavirus vaccination starting in mid-January in an effort to curb a rise in new cases across the city and state. An indoor mask mandate that takes effect Jan. 15, 2022, applies to restaurants, gyms, and indoor recreational facilities including theaters and sports venues, as well as some other businesses, according to Mayor Michelle Wu. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, File)

California’s indoor mask mandate has been extended one month amid surging cases of the Omicron variant.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced the mandate will go through February 15, on Wednesday.

The mandate went into effect on December 15, 2021 and was set to expire January 15, 2022. The mandate requires masks be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

“Omicron is here,” Ghaly said in a briefing on Wednesday. “We can’t abandon the tools that we’ve used to achieve our collective success throughout this pandemic.”

The mandate’s end date of February 15 will be reevaluated based on conditions across the state hospitalization rates as the date is closer.

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