SACRAMENTO, Calif — With the increasing number of people vaccinated and the decreasing number of COVID-19 transmissions and hospitalizations, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly confirmed most Californians will not need to wear a mask after June 15 when the state reopens.
The roughly 54% of Californians older than 12 years old who are fully vaccinated as of June 9 will not need to wear a mask after June 15 in most cases.
People who are fully vaccinated will be able to self-attest whether they are fully vaccinated and don't need to wear a mask, according to Dr. Ghaly. Businesses could also use vaccine verification.
"If somebody comes into their business or their operation within them without a mask, it should be considered a self-attestation for someone being vaccinated," Ghaly said.
However, ABC10 spoke a business owners in the community who say self-attestation does not seem feasible.
"No way we could known the vaccination status of all of our customers at any given time, nor do we intend to ask our customers about their vaccination status," said Ken Anthony, owner of Device Brewing Company.
The California Department of Public Health added that businesses could require people to wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status following June 15.
The instances when people will need to keep wearing a mask regardless of vaccination status according to Ghaly include:
- Public transportation including airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares and any public waiting areas
- Schools that educate students younger than 18 including K-12, daycare and other youth settings.
- Health care settings, including long-term care facilities for the area state
- Local correctional facilities and detention centers
- Homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers
The roughly 46% of Californians who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated need to continue wearing masks in indoor public settings, including retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, other state and local government offices serving the public.
Cal/OSHA held a special meeting on Wednesday, June 9, at 5 p.m. during which they reversed themselves for the second time in a week. They withdrew a controversial masking regulation, which gives them time to consider a rule that more closely aligns with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s promise that the state will fully reopen from the pandemic on Tuesday.
Dr. Ghaly said the California Health and Human Services Agency and the California Department of Public Health would defer to the workplace regulating board on whether workers in California will need to wear a mask after June 15.
"I don't want to presuppose what Cal/OSHA and their board is going to decide tonight, or into the future, but only offer an explanation clearly of why the CDPH time has come out the way," Ghaly said.
Dr. Ghaly said Californians need to be aware that roughly 15% of the California population can't get the COVID-19 vaccine because they are under the age of 12. So it is up to roughly 85% of the California population that is 12 and older to get vaccinated to bring the state closer to herd immunity.
"We know that the risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection will remain in California until we reach higher levels of community immunity," Ghaly said.