California Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday that the state will let the indoor mask mandate expire for people vaccinated for COVID-19, starting February 15.
The rule will continue to remain in place for unvaccinated individuals. Masks will also still be required in school, NBC News reported.
The decision comes in the backdrop of a significant drop in COVID-19 cases. The rates of infection have decreased by 65% since the omicron peak, and hospitalizations have stabilised, the governor’s office said.
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The mandate would continue to exist in places where local governments have a mask-wearing requirement, such as in Los Angeles County, according to a report by the Times of San Diego.
Over 70% of California is fully vaccinated, and 54.9% have received their booster shots, according to government data.
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From January 10 to January 16, unvaccinated people were 7.5 times more likely to get COVID-19 than people who received their booster dose.
From January 3 to January 9, unvaccinated people were30.0 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who received their booster dose, the data revealed.
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The number of hospitalizations due to confirmed COVID-19 cases in California reached a total of 10,595, a decrease of 334 from the prior day total. The number of ICU patients due to confirmed COVID-19 cases in California reached a total of 2,101, a decrease of 18 from the prior day total.