SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 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 fully reopen.
During a teleconference Monday morning, Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services, said this will give Californians more time to get vaccinated and businesses more time to prepare for the change.
"This four-week period will give Californians time to prepare for this change while we continue our relentless focus on delivering vaccines, particularly in underserved communities," Dr. Ghaly said in a press release.
The CDC recently changed its recommendation for fully vaccinated people saying they no longer need to wear a mask in most public settings.
“We have all longed for this moment — when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said on May 13 at a White House briefing.
According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people should still wear a mask on public transportation, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and school settings. Even after the CDC and the California Health and Human Services Agency announced the new mask guidelines, businesses and events could still require people to wear a mask.
“Nothing changes, masks on," Jennifer Cliff, a spokesperson for Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, said.
Even though the CDC announced their guidance on Thursday, many locally owned businesses like the co-op are choosing to follow state guidance instead. California set their date for June 15th to give people more time to get vaccinated and to give business owners more time to prepare.
"At this time, we still require masks in the store, so it’s really just, we appreciate that, we appreciate that things are changing but they haven’t changed yet for this city,” Cliff said.
Taylor’s Market, a nationally recognized butcher shop in Sacramento, will be relying on the honor system and won’t be checking vaccine cards at the door.
"I hope that our customers are smart enough to know that if they haven’t been vaccinated, the mask is for their benefit as much as it is for ours and if they don’t wear a mask and they haven’t been vaccinated, they’re putting themselves at risk," Dave Hunter, General Manager of Taylor’s Market, said.
Shoppers ABC10 spoke with are looking forward to finally taking the masks off after nearly 15 months.
“I think it’s great," Jorge Monzon, a regular at Taylor’s Market, said. "I think it’s still a little bit confusing though."
Monzon became fully vaccinated in February but he wonders how this will change things for those that don’t want the vaccine.
"Who is going to basically ask you for your card if you took the masks off, right?" he said. "That’s why I’m saying it’s confusing but hopefully people will have a better sense of taking care of themselves."
California has seen a steady decline in new cases and reported deaths for the majority of 2021 after the state peaked at 61,016 reported coronavirus cases on Dec. 31, 2020, and 1,178 coronavirus deaths on Feb. 24, 2021, according to the California Department of Public Health.