S. E. Williams |

In response to the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases due to the impacts of both the Delta and Omicron variant, on Monday, December 13 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a universal indoor mask mandate in an assertive attempt to curb the virus’ spread especially since the Omicron variant has proven to be highly transmissible.

According to state health officials, since Thanksgiving, the statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by almost half (47%) and hospitalizations have increased by 14%.

Beginning December 15, CDPH will require masks to be worn in all indoor public settings regardless of vaccine status through January 15, 2022, at which point CDPH will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic. 

Additionally, CDPH updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now require either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.

CDPH also issued a new travel advisory effective immediately to recommend that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

Commenting on the CDPH decision, Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer stated, “Our collective actions can save lives this holiday season.

Beginning December 15, CDPH requires masks to be worn in all indoor public settings regardless of vaccine status through January 15, 2022. At that time, CDPH will make further recommendations (source: istock).

According to Aragón the state is already seeing a higher level of transmission this winter. “It is important to act now to prevent overwhelming our busy hospitals so we can provide quality health care to all Californians.”

“All Californians should get vaccinated and receive their booster,” he continued. “Getting your whole family up to date on vaccination is the most important action you can take to get through the pandemic and to protect yourself from serious impacts from the virus and its variants.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations. See the data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Vaccines and these temporary measures will add critical layers of protection to keep people safe (source: healthline.com).

Know the risks associated with remaining unvaccinated: 

  • Unvaccinated people were 7.1 times more likely to get COVID-19 (data from November 21, 2021 to November 27, 2021).
  • Unvaccinated people were 12.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from November 14, 2021 to November 20, 2021).

Unvaccinated people were 13.0 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from November 7, 2021 to November 13, 2021).

S.E. Williams

Stephanie Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News. A longtime champion for civil rights and justice in all its forms, she is also an advocate for government transparency and committed to ferreting out and exposing government corruption. Stephanie has received awards for her investigative reporting and for her weekly column, Keeping it Real. Contact Stephanie with tips, comments. or concerns at myopinion@ievoice.com.