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California joining New York in reinstituting indoor mask mandate

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Masks will be mandatory in all indoor public settings across California starting Wednesday, CBS Los Angeles reports, whether people have been vaccinated or not.

The announcement, made Monday, came in light of a sharp increase in COVID-19 infection rates since Thanksgiving.

The mandate will remain in place until Jan. 15.

Meanwhile, the state will also toughen the restriction for unvaccinated people who attend indoor “mega-events” of 1,000 people or more.

Anyone who isn’t vaccinated must receive a negative COVID test within one day of the event if it’s a rapid antigen test or within two days for a PCR test. To date, the tests had been required within 72 hours of events.

State officials will also recommend that people traveling to or from California be tested for COVID within three to five days.

The word on California’s moves came as New York instituted a mask mandate Monday at all indoor public places unless a COVID-19 vaccine requirement is in effect at a particular business or venue. The measure will be in place until January 15, when the state will re-evaluate it, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday.

But several Republican county executives saying they won’t enforce the mandate, CBS New York reports.

Among them, Putnam County’s MaryEllen Odell, who says she “will not put health department employees out on the street to enforce something as if they were a law enforcement agency.”

And Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro tells CBS New York, “These are beleaguered small businesses all throughout the State of New York, have just been decimated in some ways and overwhelmed in others. They just can’t get up on their feet if every day there’s this new expectation for them.”

Both counties are New York City exhurbs.

Hochul says that, for now, “”We hope that counties will enforce it. We expect that they will.”



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