California to lift statewide mask mandate

Indoor mask requirements will no longer be required for every county beginning Feb. 15.

[Photo of students playing card games with masks on.]

California’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted for vaccinated residents on a county-by-county basis starting Feb. 15, state officials announced Monday. As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus begins to show a decline throughout the state, counties will be able to decide the extent of the mandate locally.

California has experienced a 65% drop in cases since the peak of the Omicron surge in December. Los Angeles County is currently reporting a 9.21% positivity rate as of Jan. 30.

According to L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, the county has no current plans to lift the indoor mask mandate on Feb. 15. Once the county reaches two weeks at or below the “moderate” transmission rate, the mandate will be reevaluated.

“Unvaccinated people will still need to wear masks indoors. Get vaccinated. Get boosted,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet Monday.