Is California Ready To Go Maskless?

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : June 5, 2021

As more and more people start taking the shots, there is a good chance that state officials will let the populations roam free without masks. It is announced by California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board that if all the workers at a place are fully immunized, then they will not be required to wear face masks while at work.

Is California Ready To Go Maskless?

The stigma around wearing face masks was pretty evident from day one when people who refused to wear masks cited the reason that was enough immune to a silly virus. It was only after the pandemic reached massive proportions did every American resort to wearing masks. Many state governments did not make a compulsory mask mandate to allow people to breathe a little free, although lockdown had been imposed everywhere.

Is California Ready To Go Maskless?

The removal of mask mandates by CDC in May came as a whiff if fresh air. Therefore, people are more than happy to endorse the vaccine and remove the mask. However, is it all well covered? Other than the people who don’t want to be vaccinated, the drive is definitely well covered. 

So moving to California’s decision, the announcement was made on Thursday after the government heard pleas and complaints from many business houses that working in the same room with fully vaccinated employees is like being fully protected and still having to wear a mask.

What would the problem be if one room had all fully vaccinated employees and allowed everyone to be maskless? The answer was a simple yes in general opinion. The government then decided to pass this order and it will be effective from June 15. The public had been urging authorities to ease mask rules in the workplace. 

“Face coverings and mask requirements are more restrictive and onerous than they need to be,” said Melissa Patack, vice president of the Motion Picture Association of America, urging for relaxed restrictions due to California’s low number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. The board had initially avoided changing workplace mask rules which had required that all employees stay masked while at their workplace. This is, however, not applicable to public spaces where the vaccination history of an unknown person is unsure. 

It is revealed in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that California’s case rate is an astounding 7.3% out of every 100,000 people in 7 days. Add to this the fact that more than 50% of the population in California is fully vaccinated. When the CDC had already mentioned that unvaccinated people are at risk themselves and are a risk to other people around, it was important to keep the mask mandate on to save the population from the unvaccinated people.

However, the next level of debate then broke open which said that if workplace mask was compulsory, then employers must provide the masks to avoid employees having to carry the infectious masks of the roads to their offices, where they would have to spend many hours together. This led to the apprehension that many would then start stockpiling the N-95 masks, which might lead to them going out of circulation when needed. 

“Employees will be pissed off wondering whose fault it is that they have to wear a mask,” San Francisco employment lawyer Stephen Hirschfeld said. “This could set up a situation where they try to figure out who is unvaccinated and give them a hard time.”This is where reasoning prevailed on the board, and they conditioned the announcement stating that in any room or office, if everybody is fully vaccinated, then they can go mask free. This eases the working style of everyone who is fully vaccinated. But, on the upper hand, it also motivates people to go for full vaccination drives and become immune to the disease.  

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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