Effective March 11, 2022 mask mandates in most public places have been lifted. Some conditions still apply:
Masking is still required for EVERYONE (unless exempt) in the following indoor settings:
- Public transit
- Emergency shelters and cooling and heating centers/li>
- Healthcare settings
- State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
- Homeless shelters
- Long term care settings & adult and senior care facilities
While mask mandates have been lifted in most public places, indoor masking is still highly encouraged.
People who are fully vaccinated can be without a face mask elsewhere and in most cases except under conditions noted by Cal/OSHA in a workplace.
Businesses can choose to:
- Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination.
- Verify vaccination status to determine if a mask is needed.
- Require all patrons to wear a mask.
Individuals cannot be prevented from participation or entering a business for wearing a mask.
Face mask exceptions:
- Very young children or 2 years and younger because they are at risk of suffocation.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
Cal/OSHA requires employers develop a written COVID-19 prevention program or include COVID-19 prevention measures in their existing Injury and Illness Prevention Plan. Cal/OSHA has a Model COVID-19 Prevention Program and a list of the topics required as part of a COVID-19 prevention plan in their COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards Frequently Asked Questions web page.
Sick or Exposed Personnel
Exclusion of sick employees is still one of the best ways to prevent COVID-19 spread. Employees experiencing illness with symptoms like COVID-19 should remain home until they are confirmed to be free of COVID-19 or until 10 days after symptom onset. Symptoms may include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
For guidance on handling of ill employees, when to advise testing and how to treat possible or positive COVID-19 cases, please refer to the County of Santa Cruz Health Services COVID-19 Employer page.
Vaccination is an important tool to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Everyone is encouraged to vaccinate. Click here for information about vaccines and vaccine opportunities. Are you a candidate for a booster shot? CDPH is advising that some individuals receive a booster shot under certain conditions.
Still have questions?
Talk to your inspector during routine inspection of your business. We are always happy to address site specific questions.