CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – California will wait to implement CDC guidance on masks for those who are fully vaccinated until June 15, said State Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly on Monday.
The CDC announced guidance last week allowing those who are fully vaccinated to go unmasked in most indoor places.
During a media call, Ghaly on Monday said the time period until June 15 allows the state and businesses to prepare and gives more Californians the chance to get their vaccine. In the meantime, the current mask guidelines stay in place.
According to the state, around 49% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.
In the Central Valley, the numbers are lower.
According to Fresno County, most recent data shows that 45.8% of those who are 12 years old and older have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.
Madera County Health Officer Dr. Simon Paul said in Madera County, around 45% of the county’s eligible population has received at least one dose and 34% of the county’s eligible population is fully vaccinated.
Some chain stores like Costco and Trader Joe’s have already dropped their mask mandates for those who are fully vaccinated. But Ghaly said they expect businesses to align with the state’s guidance.
Paul said they’re telling businesses to put up signs to avoid confusion.
“So what we’ve been recommending businesses do is get signage out there saying ‘yes we know that CDC guidance is out there but California still requires masks for the next three to four weeks. Have masks available in case someone didn’t bring one,” Paul said. “But don’t get in fights with people over masks.”
The Fresno County Department of Public Health put out a news release on Monday after the state’s announcement saying that they will align with the state and current mask guidelines will remain.
This means in indoor settings outside people’s homes, such as grocery stores, public transportation and schools, masks are going to continue to be required, regardless of someone’s vaccination status.
California resident Jubilee Dominguez said she’s fully vaccinated and would feel comfortable going to places like a grocery store without a mask.
“I don’t mind waiting, but once it’s lifted, I’m definitely okay to take my mask,” Dominguez said.
Paul encouraged more people to get the vaccine as it’s become widely available to residents and many vaccine clinics are now taking walk-ins.
“I think the guidance makes sense and it’s where everybody’s heading whether it’s in a day or in a week so the businesses have time to prepare or being cautious like California is so more people can get vaccinated,” Paul said.