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California restores mask mandate until Jan. 15 amid signs of Covid surge

California will reinstitute an indoor mask mandate this week in the wake of a recent increase in Covid-19 cases, one of the state’s top health officials said Monday.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state will reimplement an indoor mask requirement, regardless of vaccination status, from Wednesday to Jan. 15.

The state will also require people who attend events with more than 1,000 attendees to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from within 24 to 48 hours of the event. Previously, a negative test had to be taken within 72 hours of a large event.

Ghaly said that the recent rise of the omicron variant of the virus and a 47 percent increase in cases statewide since Thanksgiving has led to concern over a possible surge in cases similar to last winter’s surge.

Ghaly said:

We know that we are entering into a pretty hard time and we are starting to see some of these numbers go up in some communities pretty quickly.”

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