California not to align with U.S. CDC's new mask guidance
Web Editor:International Daily
LOS ANGELES, May 17 (Xinhua) -- California's public health officials said Monday the most populous state of the United States would not "implement the CDC guidelines that allow fully vaccinated people to go without a mask in most situations" before June 15.
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it's safe for fully vaccinated people to skip face coverings and social distancing in most situations, and many states have lifted their mask requirements.
However, California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Mark Ghaly stressed that the Golden State would keep the existing guidance until June 15, meaning "in indoor settings, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status."
California's rules permit people who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus not to wear a mask outdoors unless they are attending crowded gatherings, but require persons to wear masks indoors unless they are meeting with other vaccinated people.
"There's certain areas where masking will and should continue. We'll be watching that list closely with the CDC, but for now we don't have any additions beyond what we've seen with the CDC's guidelines," Ghaly said.
California's decision came amid confusing and seemingly contradictory messages from U.S. President Joe Biden, the CDC, governors, state officials and local officials, who have been under pressure to ease mask restrictions.
Since some supermarket chains including Trader Joe's, Costco and Walmart have dropped the mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers, Ghaly said Monday these businesses need to align with the current state rules.
California Governor Gavin Newsom's former chief of staff, Ann O'Leary, showed her concerns to the CDC's decision last week, saying "it is not good public advice."
"My blood is boiling that @CDCgov acted so irresponsibly to adopt an 'honor code' for public mask wearing," she tweeted. "It's not good public health advice to say to parents whose kids can't get vaccinated, just trust the public to do the right thing with all the politicization over masks."