California recommends masking indoors, regardless of vaccination status

People shop at a store in Hollywood, California, on July 19, 2021, the second day of the return of the indoor mask mandate in Los Angeles County due to a spike in coronavirus cases. - The US surgeon general on July 18 defended a renewed mask mandate

The California Department of Public Health on Wednesday recommended people wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

The announcement came one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for the same measures to combat the spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and slow the spread of the deadly delta variant. Many other cities and states have issued similar recommendations across the country. 

Bay Area health officials had already recommended this. 

Bay Area health officials already had recommended this.  

"The delta variant has caused a sharp increase in hospitalizations and case rates across the state. We are recommending masking in indoor public places to slow the spread while we continue efforts to get more Californians vaccinated," State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said in a statement. 

The latest announcement was not a mandate, although officials were hoping people would abide by the health precautions.

However, California has issued some rules that are non-negotiable.  

For instance, Los Angeles County was the first in the state to require masks again regardless of vaccination status. 

And this week, California said it is requiring state and health care employees to provide proof of vaccination or submit to regular testing. 

Earlier this month, California said issued a mandate saying that everyone has to mask up in schools for the upcoming school year. Parent advocacy groups are suing over the school mask mandate, arguing that covering children's faces is unnecessary and can even be harmful to young people's well-being. 

Under the CDC’s new guidance, more than 90% of California’s population is currently in areas designated as substantial or high transmission.