Skip Navigation LinksLocal-Considerations-for-Masking-LHJ

State of Cal Logo

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

March 30, 2022

Local Health Departments

Local Considerations for Maintaining or Establishing Universal Indoor Masking Requirements for Local Health Jurisdictions

Effective March 1, 2022, California transitioned its statewide universal indoor masking requirement to a strong recommendation that individuals continue to wear masks indoors, with the exception that masking remains required in certain specified settings.  Thereafter, California affirms the authority of local health departments to maintain or establish general masking requirements within their jurisdiction.

When making the determination of whether a local universal indoor masking requirement should be maintained or established in a county, CDPH recommends considering the factors listed below.  Reliance on the composite situation, rather than any one single factor, is recommended when making determinations.

  • Pandemic patterns and pathogen characteristics:

    • local epidemiology, including COVID-19 case rates, test positivity, and hospitalization data;

    • circulating variant characteristics, including concern for increased virulence, immune evasion, and/or waning therapeutic effectiveness.

  • Prevention, assessment, and treatment of COVID-19:

    • community vaccination rates;

    • availability and accessibility of masks with good fit and filtration;

    • availability and accessibility of prompt and regular COVID-19 testing;

    • ability to provide treatments for COVID-19 in a timely and equitable fashion as they become available.

  • Population:

    • local demographics, including serving specialized populations of individuals at high risk of severe disease and/or immunocompromised populations

    • equity considerations, including communities disproportionately exposed to and impacted by COVID-19;

    • community input.