SCVNews.com | State public health leaders have updated guidelines for mask use against COVID-19

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The California Department of Health released today updated guide for using masks using a feder levels of COVID-19 in the community inform statewide masking guidelines.

Community stratification, established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helps individuals and communities decide what COVID-19 prevention measures to take based on data that categorizes communities as low, medium, or high risk.

The state’s updated guidelines also allow masks to be made optional when the level of COVID-19 in the community is low.

These sweeping changes go into effect this Friday, September 23, and do not affect Medicare or long-term care.

“This shift in disguise is consistent California’s SMARTER plan and provides Californians with information to consider when deciding when to wear a mask, including rates of community spread and personal risk,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Thomas Aragon.

Here are CDPH’s new masking guidelines based on levels of COVID-19 in the community:

-When levels in the community are low, CDPH recommends that people at lower risk of severe disease wear a mask based on their personal preference and individual risk level, and those at higher risk of severe disease should consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor public places.

-When population levels are moderate, CDPH advises those at lower risk of serious illness to consider wearing a mask in crowded public places. Wearing a mask is recommended in crowded indoor public places for those at higher risk of serious illness.

-When levels in the community are high, CDPH recommends that all those at lower risk of severe disease wear a mask in crowded indoor public places and strongly recommends that those at higher risk of severe disease wear a mask in indoor public places.

Californians who are at higher risk of severe illness, including those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, have certain limitations or underlying medical conditions, should take extra precautions against COVID-19.

When wearing a mask, Californians are encouraged to choose a mask with is best suited and filtering.

CDC Community Level Tracker: Know your level of COVID-19 in your community.

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