On July 28th the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued revised guidance for the use of masks, including recommending universal masking indoors statewide. This guidance comes on the heels of changes in the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) guidance recommending masking for indoor settings in areas with substantial and high transmission of COVID-19. The revised CDPH guidance for universal indoor masking is only a recommendation at this time. However, several counties have gone one step further and are now mandating masking indoors.

Mid-July, the County of Los Angeles issued a revised order mandating masking for public indoor settings regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. More recently, the counties of Sacramento and Yolo have issued orders mandating masking indoors.

These two counties’ orders nearly mirror each other and require that face coverings be worn, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status, in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and workplaces.

Going forward, individuals, businesses, venue operators, and others responsible for the operation of indoor public settings must:

  • Require patrons to wear face coverings for all indoor settings, regardless of their vaccination status, and
  • Post clearly visible and easy-to-read signage at all entry points for indoor settings to communicate the masking requirements to patrons.

The order indicates individuals do not need to wear a face-covering indoors in any of the following circumstances:

  • When working alone in a closed office or room,
  • When actively eating and/or drinking,
  • When swimming or showering in a fitness facility,
  • When obtaining a medical or cosmetic service involving the nose or face, or
  • If the individual is specifically exempted pursuant to CDPH guidance.

The Sacramento and Yolo County orders became effective July 30, 2021.

Several other counties, including San Diego and Riverside, are now strongly recommending, but not yet mandating, masking indoors.