California’s mask mandate could be lifted sooner than June 15


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – While state leaders say they were thinking about removing the mask mandate by June 15 when the state is expected to reopen, the lifting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mandate means it’s likely Californians can remove their masks a lot sooner.

“We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Thursday.

“Obviously we’ve been thinking about what we’re going to do with masks for many days if not weeks and months. So the unexpected announcement from the CDC, we were pretty well prepared,” said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

Originally, Dr. Ghaly said the state’s mandate was always going to be lifted on June 15.

But with COVID-19 case levels dropping across the state and the CDC lifting its mandate, he says it’s clear the state’s mask mandate needed to be lifted sooner.

“We’ll see what we’re able to come up with today, I really don’t know quite yet,” Dr. Ghaly said. “But we are prepared to do this pretty quickly whether it’s today, at the end of the day or sometime over the weekend. We know Californians will want to know where this is heading.”

Meanwhile, shoppers who are vaccinated against COVID-19 can shop without masks in some Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco and Trader Joe’s locations those companies said in separate announcements Friday.

Sacramento County and others across the state say until the state changes its mask mandate nothing changes for them on the local level.

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