Mandatory indoor mask use in California has been extended through February 15 because of “Omicron”

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Omicron now entered California. The state is now extending its mandate to wear an indoor mask until the 15th of February.

The state-imposed the mandate on Dec. 15, and it had been scheduled to expire on Jan. 15. The latest unprecedented rise of the cases of infections of the coronavirus in California leads to California extending their mask mandate for indoor public spaces for another month. These most recent coronavirus infections spawned by the highly transmissible Omicron variant continue to wash over the state. As the holiday season passed by, gatherings, holiday festivities, and activities play a significant role in spreading the virus.

This mandate requires and pushes everyone to wear their mask in indoor settings such as bars, restaurants, retail stores, and other locations, whether vaccinated or not. Dr. Mark Ghaly, Health, and Human Services Secretary said that the decision to extend the mandate was the result of rising COVID case numbers and because of the high transmission rate of the Omicron variant of the virus and the impact of increased infections on hospitals across the state.

Not wearing a mask can cause risk and transmission of the omicron variant. 12-17-year-old are now recommended to have booster shots to strengthen the vaccine.

In 2020, Since the start of the pandemic, California had 5.5 million COVID-19 cases and more than 76,000 deaths, according to state data. However, hospitalizations as of now, are still quite high. Over the last week, California has seen an average of 54,695 new coronavirus cases per day.

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State officials are also wary about flurona, a co-infection from the coronavirus and influenza. Health officials say flu and coronavirus are from different virus families and do not combine to create one superbug, but they can lead to a person experiencing combined symptoms of the two infections at the same time.

However, even with a large number of cases State officials are still not looking to close schools and businesses.

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