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California still awaits updated guidance from public health officials

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people rarely need to wear a mask, California remains under a mask mandate.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California health officials are considering updating the state's mask mandate following new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying vaccinated American’s no longer need to wear masks in most instances, Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday.

However, until Newsom and the California Department of Public Health releases new guidance for face coverings, Californians continue to need to wear a mask in public regardless of their vaccination status.

Yolo County Health Officials said the county will continue with the current mask mandate until the California Department of Health updates guidance. 

“The updated CDC recommendations do not change anything on the ground in Yolo County,” said Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson. “Yolo County follows CDPH’s masking order, which has not been updated. Unless and until CDPH changes its masking guidance, fully vaccinated persons still need to wear masks indoors in California, including in Yolo County.” 

Even if state health officials relax masking requirements or remove the mandate altogether, masking isn’t likely to go away completely at once. Businesses, places of worship and schools may put in place their own restrictions.

Most businesses in the Sacramento Region continue to follow the state's coronavirus restrictions which require employees and customers to wear masks indoors and in places they cannot physically distance at least six feet. 

Devil May Care Ice Cream wrote on their Instagram Friday "Soon, but not quite yet. Please go get vaccinated." As they set the tone that even though the CDC now says fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask customers must still do so at their establishment  

"The information is flying out quick, information that people haven’t really had the opportunity to process so we just want to make it clear that until we hear otherwise from the county that we will require all mask to be worn," Gerine Williams Devil May Care Manager explained. 

The ice cream shop has locations in Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Manager Gerine Williams said as a business they do not want to be in a position to have to determine who is and isn’t vaccinated  

"I don’t know if everybody wants to show their vaccination card and ID to get a scoop of ice cream, I just don’t think that it’s realistic," Wiliams said. 

Officials with numerous area businesses are awaiting further guidance from the California Department of Health but are continuing to follow rules including the Sacramento Kings, Device Brewing, and the Capital Christian Center. 

“Health and safety remain our utmost priority and we continue to work with state and local public health officials to update protocols as knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus evolves,” a spokesperson with the Sacramento Kings told ABC10.

“Although the CDC has lifted the mask mandate, businesses and residents in CA still must follow the local and state ordinances,” said Kate Stille, Chief Impact Officer with Nugget Markets. “The California Department of Public Health’s guidelines state, for fully vaccinated persons, in indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status.” 

Big box stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club are planning to lift mask requirements for fully vaccinated staff and customers in areas where the state or local laws do not require them, according to a memo obtained by ABC10 from the respective company CEOs. 

As of Saturday morning, many department stores like Macys, Marshalls and Nordstrom are still requiring masks for fully vaccinated people and Sprouts and Safeway are both going by state mandates to determine their policies.

Mask policies may differ by store. 

ABC10 Medical Expert Dr. Payal Kohli is concerned the CDC decision may have come too early. 

“It’s all really a little bit tricky and playing with fire because there are the unvaccinated people, there’s the variants, there’s all these moving parts the variables that I think it may end up being more of a setback than an advance,” Kohli said. 

A vaccine is still unavailable to children under 12. That may lead to many parents and their children continuing to mask until those are vaccines become available.

Companies still requiring masks:

  • Macys
  • Starbucks
  • Home Depot
  • CVS
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • Kroger
  • JCPenney
  • T.J. Maxx
  • Marshalls
  • Dollar General
  • Homegoods
  • Best Buy
  • Gap
  • Levi Strauss
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Nordstrom
  • Chipotle
  • Sacramento International Airport
  • Ulta
  • Carl's Jr.
  • Ikea
  • Apple

Companies going by state mandates:

  • Sprouts
  • Safeway
  • Costco

Companies not requiring masks for fully vaccinated people:

  • Trader Joe's
  • Walmart
  • Publix
  • Sam's Club

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