The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring all individuals, irrespective of vaccine status, to wear masks in all indoor public settings until January 15, 2022.
This new measure brings an added layer of mitigation as the Omicron variant, a Variant of Concern as labeled by the World Health Organization, is detected across California, the United States, and the world and is likely to spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Delta variant. Additionally, this new measure brings additional protection to individuals, families and communities during the holidays when more travel occurs, and time is spent indoors.
In workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.
Exemptions to masks requirements
The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:
• Persons younger than two-years-old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
• Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
• Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
• Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
For more information on the mask requirement, please visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx and https://covid19.ca.gov/masks-and-ppe/.
Residents ages 5+ who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and residents ages 18+ who are eligible for their booster dose are encouraged to get vaccinated.
To get vaccinated against COVID-19, individuals may contact pediatricians’ offices, local retail pharmacies, healthcare providers, the OC COVID-19 Hotline at (714) 834-2000, or go online at Vaccines.gov, MyTurn.ca.gov, or Othena.com. For more information on where to go for a vaccine, please visit COVIDVaccineFacts.com.
Supervisor, Orange County Board of Supervisors