California County Mandates Masks in Private Homes for People Not in Same Household

Officials in Santa Cruz County, California, imposed a sweeping indoor mask mandate (pdf) this week that includes private settings. For individuals gathering with people who do not live in the same household, masks should be worn in homes regardless of the COVID-19 vaccination status, according to the county on Monday. “Masks must be worn in private settings, including your home, when non-household members are present,” the county wrote, without saying how it would enforce masking inside private homes. The mandate will also apply to public settings including offices and grocery stores. Businesses will be required to post signs about the mask requirement, the county said. “Unfortunately, a potential winter surge appears to be a significant threat to the health and safety of our community,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel, without providing data for why a “winter surge” will occur. Citing individuals’ desire to spend more time “with those …

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