Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19
cases among legislative staffers, California
has reinstated a mask requirement for all lawmakers and staff at the state Capitol
in Sacramento, regardless of vaccination status.
According to the San Francisco
Chronicle, at least nine legislative employees have tested positive for the coronavirus
in the last week, with four of those cases involving people
who had received full vaccinations
In light of the outbreak, Senate
Secretary Erika Contreras stated in a Wednesday memo that all California legislators and Capitol staff will be required to “wear a mask at all times while in the Capitol, Legislative Office Building, and district offices, regardless of vaccine
status,” according to KCRA.
All unvaccinated workers will also be subjected to coronavirus testing twice a week.
“As we know from recent cases, even fully vaccinated individuals can be infected with COVID-19,” Contreras wrote in the memo, “however, public health
experts indicate that fully vaccinated individuals are less likely to suffer the most severe symptoms of the COVID-19.”
In light of the ongoing spread of the delta variant
, the World Health Organization
continues to urge everyone, including those who have been fully vaccinated, to wear masks
and take other COVID-19 precautions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, on the other hand, has stated that people who have been fully vaccinated can “resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom
(D) said at a press conference on Wednesday that mask mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions will be unnecessary if more Californians are immunized.
“If we keep getting people vaccinated, that will be unnecessary,” he said, adding, “And this is the call to anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated: Get vaccinated. What more evidence do you need [than what’s going on with this delta variant]?”