CDPH Issues Updated COVID-19 Masking and Testing Guidance

Ahead of the state’s anticipated June 15 retirement of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) this week issued updated COVID-19 guidance for the use of face coverings and testing requirements.

Masking Guidance

Under the updated face covering guidance which takes effect on June 15, masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in settings where masks are required for all persons, regardless of vaccination status, including on public transit and transportation facilities, indoors in K-12 schools and other youth settings, health care settings, correctional facilities, and homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers.

Businesses, venue operators, and hosts are provided a series of options from CDPH in settings where masks are required only for unvaccinated individuals. These options include providing information to all individuals regarding vaccination requirements and allowing vaccinated individuals to self-attest to their vaccination status, implementing a vaccine verification process to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask, or requiring all individuals to wear a mask. Notably, CDPH guidance specifies that no person can be preventing from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business.

The updated masking guidance is available here.

Testing Guidance

On Monday, CDPH also issued updated testing guidance which relaxes many requirements for individuals to undergo regular COVID-19 screening testing. Under the updated guidance, fully vaccinated individuals do not need to undergo diagnostic screening testing in non-health care workplace settings, staff in long-term care facilities do not need to undergo diagnostic screening testing if 70 percent of staff and residents are fully vaccinated, and hospital staff do not need to undergo diagnostic screening testing if 70 percent of staff are fully vaccinated.

Generally, diagnostic testing should be considered for all individuals with symptoms or exposure to COVID-19, and health plans are required to pay for testing services pursuant to federal requirements. Local health jurisdictions have the ability to modify these guidelines to account for local conditions or patterns of transmission.

The updated testing guidance is available here.