California To Reimpose Statewide Indoor Mask Mandate, 18 Omicron Cases Detected

California is set to reimpose an indoor mask mandate on Wednesday in an apparent response to the Omicron coronavirus variant. 

As reported by Fox News, “The new mask mandate is set to take effect on Wednesday and will expire on Jan. 15. It will apply to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.”

“More restrictions will be introduced for those who are unvaccinated, with added requirements for those individuals to attend large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events,” the outlet added. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

The state will also require people attending mega-events of 1,000 people or more that don’t require vaccination to show proof of a negative test taken within one day for an antigen test, and within two days for a PCR test. The previous window was 72 hours.

And it will recommend that travelers returning to California get tested three to five days after arrival.

The Chronicle noted that as of Friday, there have been 18 Omicron variant cases reported in California. 

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration announced the new measure on Monday. 

“This is a critical time,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “We have a tool we know has worked and can work. We are proactively putting this tool of universal indoor masking in place to ensure we get through a time of joy and hope without a darker cloud of despair. Californians have done this before, and we believe we can do it again.”

“We know that there’s going to be people who don’t necessarily agree with this, who are tired, who aren’t going to mask,” Ghaly noted. “We hope that those are few and far between, that most people see the purpose of doing this over the next month as something to protect them and their communities during a very tough time.”

California has not had a statewide indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people for some time, as counties have decided their own policies. 

“The state indoor masking rule that takes effect Wednesday will override these local exemptions, so vaccinated people in those settings must wear masks again, local health departments said Monday,” The Chronicle noted.

Policies such as lockdowns and mask mandates have prompted many business owners and key figures to leave the state in pursuit of a more free area in which to raise a family, operate a business, and own property. 

Commentator Dave Rubin announced on Monday that he is “officially leaving the dystopian nightmare of California for the free state of Florida. My successful business and all my employees are coming with.”

As reported by KTLA in November, “California’s population dropped by 182,000 last year, the first annual decrease ever recorded in the state’s history.”

Meanwhile in Colorado, Democratic Governor Jared Polis “declared the COVID-19 emergency ‘over’ and said he will not be ordering another statewide mask mandate in response to respond to the emergence of the Omicron variant in the U.S.,” The Daily Wire reported. 

“Everybody had more than enough opportunity to get vaccinated,” Polis told Colorado Public Radio on Friday, according to the New York Post. “Hopefully it’s been at your pharmacy, your grocery store, a bus near you, [or at] big events. At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really your own darn fault.” 

“Those who get sick, it’s almost entirely their own darn fault,” Polis added. “I don’t want to say that nobody [will get the virus if they’re] vaccinated, but it’s very rare. Just to put it in perspective, of the about 1400 people hospitalized, less than 200 (or 16 percent) are vaccinated. And many of them are older or have other conditions. Eighty-four percent of the people in our hospitals are unvaccinated, and they absolutely had every chance to get vaccinated.” 

“And at this point, I think it’s almost like they made a deliberate decision not to get vaccinated,” the governor said. “I still encourage everybody who hasn’t been vaccinated to get protected. And for those who are, make sure to get that booster after six months. The data shows it’s important and very likely even more so with this omicron variant.”

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