Written by Will Seykora
In a stunning move, Secretary of California Health & Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly announced students K-12 will be mandated to wear masks in schools past June 15th, the date Gavin Newsom set as the lifting of California’s mask mandate. This comes as Cal/OSHA decides on whether all California workers, including those who have been vaccinated, will have to continue wearing masks past the June 15th deadline as well.
As of now, there is no word as to when the K-12 mask mandate would be lifted however with Summer approaching many parents are left wondering if their children will be forced to wear masks at school this fall. Ghaly also outlined other situations where masks will still be mandated including on public transportation.
In his announcement, he also touched on guidelines businesses will have to follow in regards to checking customer vaccination status. He says although businesses aren’t required to have someone checking vaccination status at the door, they can post requirements for entry, forcing customers to self-attest their vaccination status.
According to Ghaly, unvaccinated workers will have to keep wearing masks, although he states “I don’t want to predispose what Cal/OSHA and their board is gonna decide.” When asked if everyone, including customers, would have to wear a mask if one person is unvaccinated. “Is it appropriate to expect that N95 masks will have a place in some workplaces in the future?” Ghaly asked. “Absolutely.”
Despite allowing businesses the right to turn away patrons for not being vaccinated, he said businesses cannot deny entry for deciding to wear masks. This undermines a business’s right to refuse service to anyone. Although California has more restrictions on when this can be used none of them include wearing a mask unless you consider wearing a mask a “political affiliation or activity.
Although many of California’s draconian restrictions are being lifted on June 15th it seems like the state administration has gotten comfortable telling citizens and businesses what they can or cannot do.