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California's indoor mask mandate slated to expire later this month, but not for everyone

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California's statewide indoor mask mandate will expire later this month, offering at least a little bit of relief from the Golden State's mask requirements.

But not everyone will get to shed their face coverings.

Those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 will still be required to wear masks in indoor public places.

"The indoor masking requirement will expire after February 15 reverting to the previous guidance which requires masking for unvaccinated individuals in all indoor public settings and required masking for all individuals regardless of vaccination status in higher risk settings like public transit and congregate living," the California Department of Public Health noted in a press release.

"Omicron has loosened its hold on California, vaccines for children under 5 are around the corner, and access to COVID-19 treatments is improving," CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón said in a statement.

Mask mandates have proven to be highly polarizing and controversial amid the coronavirus pandemic, particularly mandates requiring children to wear masks in schools.

While the announced changes will not lift school mask mandates, the CDPH noted that, "The state is continuing to work with education, public health and community leaders to update masking requirements at schools to adapt to changing conditions and ensure the safety of kids, teachers, and staff."

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