SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — The countdown is on for fully vaccinated Californians to remove their masks indoors when the state eases the mandate.
However, there are several conditions and places where masks will be needed, regardless of vaccination status.
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Meanwhile, on Monday, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced that masks inside K-12 classrooms would be a mandate until at least the end of the month.
“It’s not a decision we take lightly or in a rush,” Ghaly said.
UCSF epidemiology professor George Rutherford agreed with the agency’s decision.
“We’re trying to prevent transmission to families and grandparents, in particular,” Rutherford said. “We try not to disrupt classroom closures. Schools are not covered here.
He is right. Regardless of vaccination status, masks are required on public transportation, in shelters, health facilities, prisons, and senior or long-term care facilities. Companies, counties or workplaces may also require the wearing of masks.
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Despite California’s easing of the health measure, Rutherford believes this is not the end of indoor mask mandates.
“Notice me, winter is when it’s going to increase, so don’t throw away your masks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Burlingame School District is joining other Bay Area districts in allowing students to remove masks outdoors for now.
But the way out of the pandemic – or endemic – according to the Buffy Wicks Assembly is with AB 1993.
The lawmaker introduced the bill that would require all workers in California, who come into contact with others, to be fully vaccinated within 45 days of their start date. Business owners who fail to comply would be subject to a penalty.
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“Fundamentally, this bill is about workplace safety and making sure our workers are safe,” Wicks said. “AB 1993 will require all California employees and independent contractors to be vaccinated. Right now, we have a lot of disparate vaccine mandates across the state. We’ve heard from many business groups that support the idea of a statewide framework.