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California Will Keep Mask Mandate In Place Until June 15

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In a break with the CDC's newly released guidelines, California will keep its mask mandate in place until at least June 15.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state's Health and Human Services, released a statement Monday that said California will keep its current guidelines in place until June 15, when the state plans to do away with its tiered schedule of reopening and fully reopen its economy. Currently, face coverings in California are no longer required outdoors except at crowded events and for unvaccinated people when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

A mix of masked and non-masked people enjoy The Strand path, in Hermosa Beach, California
Hermosa Beach, CA - May 14: A mix of masked and non-masked people enjoyed The Strand of Hermosa Beach, CA, a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened guidelines for vaccinated people, with masks no longer being necessary when outdoors or in most indoor situations, Friday, May 14, 2021. The new guidelines state that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

"California has made amazing progress in our fight against COVID-19. With more than 34 million vaccines administered, we now have among the lowest case and positivity rates in the nation," Ghaly said.

Last week, the CDC revised its masking guidelines to allow fully vaccinated people to go without face coverings in nearly all scenarios, except for in medical settings or on public transportation, subject to state and local regulations. Unvaccinated people were still urged to wear masks, and the revised guidelines prompted some national retailers to drop their face covering requirements, leading to widespread confusion.

Over the weekend, former "Silver Spoons" actor Rick Schroder demonstrated some of the confusion when he demanded a local Costco allow him to enter without a mask, citing the CDC's new guidelines. It's not clear if Schroder is fully vaccinated, and Costco did not allow him to enter without a face covering and issued him a refund for his membership fee.

Ghaly's statement says that the state will implement the CDC's guidelines on masking on June 15, to give Californians time to prepare for the change and to allow more residents to become vaccinated.

In an effort to increase vaccination rates, the city of Los Angeles is keeping all of its sites, except for Dodger Stadium, open until 8 p.m. All of the sites are offering walk-up vaccines.

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