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California’s Outdoor Mask Mandate May Disappear This Summer

An image of a face mask
N-95 masks and surgical masks should be reserved for medical professionals, but the general public are encouraged to wear home made coverings.
(Chava Sanchez
/
LAist )
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Things are looking up in the Golden State. California’s coronavirus positivity rate is at a record low 1%, more counties — including Los Angeles — are in the least restrictive yellow tier, and L.A. County health officials estimate that 80% of residents will have received at least one dose of the vaccine by July. Now many are asking: When can the masks come off?

If cases stay low, it could be soon.

Next week, California’s workplace safety agency will consider proposed changes to the emergency coronavirus standards it adopted last fall. If the proposed changes are passed, a mandate that requires most workers to maintain six feet of distance at all times would be lifted at the beginning of August.

The changes would also permit fully vaccinated workers without COVID-19 symptoms to forgo masks both indoors and outdoors — but only as long as everyone else in the room is also fully vaccinated and doesn’t have symptoms.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom wants the outdoor mask mandate to end even sooner. He said in a recent TV interview he envisions an end date of June 15, which is also the state’s target date for a full reopening.