The following is a press release issued by Mendocino County Public Health:
We continue to progress in this COVID-19 pandemic and most California counties are now in the low CDC Community Risk Level. Therefore, the California Department of Public Health(CDPH) feels it is safe to move from a universal indoor mask order to an advisory for individuals and communities to decide what precautions are appropriate. Orders for universal masking in public settings including schools, childcare, and on public transportation have already been replaced by “strong recommendations.” Mendocino County is currently at a Low Community Level, which means:
1. CDPH has now ended the “Strong Recommendation” for all to mask in most indoor settings as of September 23, 2022
2. Universal indoor masking will CONTINUE in healthcare settings (Acute Care General Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Long Term Care Facilities, and outpatient health care facilities (for example, clinics).
3. New recommendations consist of advice on how best to protect yourself and others, depending on the evidence-based risk in each community and for each individual.
a. In Communities at a LOW CDC Community Risk Level, indoor masking is optional. More vulnerable people should still consider wearing a high-quality mask (N95, KN95 and KN94) in crowded indoor areas.
b. In Communities at a MEDIUM CDC Community Risk Level, indoor masking should be considered. More vulnerable people should consider wearing a high-quality mask (N95, KN95 and KN94) in crowded indoor areas.
c. In Communities with HIGH CDC Risk Level indoor masking is recommended.
d. If you have a household or social contact who is vulnerable, wearing a mask is recommended when with them
e. No one should be prevented from wearing a mask to protect themselves.
4. Special cases:
a. In Correctional Facilities, shelters for homeless and emergency shelters for excessive heat, cooling, fire, and air pollution the above recommendations do apply in NON-CLINICAL areas as long as the community is in a LOW CDC community level and there have been no outbreaks (3 epidemiologically linked cases in 14 days). If there has been an outbreak either the entire facility must follow universal masking or universal masking may be limited to units that are separate and closed and do not allow mixing of residents or staff with the general population. When the community level is medium or high, then everyone (residents, staff, and visitors) in the whole facility should wear a high-quality (N95, N94 or KN95) mask until the outbreak has ended (14 days have passed with regular testing and no positives).
b. In Correctional Facilities with integrated Hospital or Skilled Nursing Facility, staff and inmates should continue to mask. Where there is a small separate area of the correctional facility associated with medical care, and in isolation and quarantine areas, masks should be worn by all inmates, visitors, and staff.
c. People who have been exposed or diagnosed with COVID but released before 10 days are finished, should complete their 10 days of quarantine or isolation wearing a high-quality mask.
d. Employees who are subject to Cal OSHA ETS or ATD requirements must follow Cal OSHA regulations.
e. In K-12 schools, students and staff are subject to the CDPH guidelines for the general public.
Note: there is no distinction made based upon vaccine status. Though vaccinated and boosted individuals suffer a fraction of the total number of hospitalizations and deaths that affect unvaccinated people.