Stanislaus County health officials explain why mask mandate is back

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The statewide mask mandate went into effect Wednesday, nearly six months after the state repealed it for people who were vaccinated. 

The order comes as the threat of the new omicron variant lingers and new coronavirus cases are climbing back up, according to state officials.

Modesto resident Cynthia told FOX40 she always wears a mask when going out, so the statewide mask mandate being reinstated doesn’t mean much to her. 

“It’s not a big deal for me,” Cynthia said. “We’re not on lockdown, we just have to wear the mask, so I think that’s good. It’s flu season anyway so it doesn’t bother me. I’m so used to it.”

The mask mandate from the state, which requires everyone to be masked indoors regardless of vaccination status, comes just one month after Stanislaus County repealed its local mask order that no longer required masks for those who were vaccinated.

The indoor mask mandate is expected to be in effect until Jan. 15, 2022

“It is frustrating, but it will help keep our community safe,” said Stanislaus County Public Health Services spokeswoman Kamlesh Kaur. “We are encouraging our residents to please wear masks and get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already.”

Kaur said while the county’s COVID-19 transmission rate has remained steady, the mandate is a precaution as other regions across the state are seeing the number of cases rise again. 

“At the end of the day, we want to save more lives and to prevent a burden on our health care system. Last winter was hard and we don’t want to see same proportion of cases during this winter too,” Kaur explained.

She said health officials are concerned about large gatherings with the holidays just days away. 

“The main concern is our community members letting their guard down. We’re still in a pandemic,” Kaur said. “The mask order hopefully would help stop the transmission of the virus even more.”

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