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El Dorado County officials ask public to stop harassing health workers over state mask mandate

Board Chair John Hidahl said the county is continuing to enforce the mask requirement because they can't create more lenient safety measures than the state.

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. — The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors is urging residents to stop harassing health workers for continuing to enforce California's face mask mandate. 

In a written statement, board Chair John Hidahl said that people are confused that the county can't make more lenient safety measures than what is ordered by the state.

"There has been significant confusion among the public about the role of County Public Health and its breadth of decision-making abilities in this pandemic," said Board Chair John Hidahl, "which has led to misdirected criticism at best and verbal and physical hostility at worst toward County employees who are simply acting at the direction of the State to help ensure the health and safety of our residents." 

In a protest Monday, about a hundred people who are part of a Facebook group called "Unmask our kids El Dorado County" marched into the health and human services office earlier this week.

In a Facebook video posted by El Dorado County Freedom Fighters, the group demanded children be allowed back to school without a mandate to wear masks.

Protest Organizer Lindsay Moffett addressed the board of supervisors the next day.

"All we wanted to do was have our voices heard," said Moffett. "We would like our children to have the option to wear a mask or not."

Moffett said the group's complaints fell on deaf ears.  

Except for a travel ban to the Tahoe Basin, Hidahl said the county never created more strict COVID-19 restrictions than the state. He says people should direct their concerns to the California Department of Public Health and the governor's office instead.

On Monday, the California Health and Human Services Agency announced it would align its guidance on wearing face coverings to reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) starting on June 15 when the state plans to reopen fully.

The CDC recently changed its recommendation for fully vaccinated people saying they no longer need to wear masks in most public settings. They should still wear a mask on public transportation, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and school settings.  

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services, said the state's date for the mask mandate to end would give people more time to get vaccinated and allow more businesses more time to prepare.

WATCH MORE:CDC: Fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks outdoors

COVID Cases have plateaued in Sacramento County and students are starting to petition their schools in Modesto for an outdoor prom as the CDC updates guidance. 

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