California · COVID-19

Newsom administration punts removing mask mandate to June 15

Days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully-vaccinated Americans can engage in indoor and outdoor activities without a face covering, California officials declined to immediately remove the state’s strict mask mandate.

During a Monday briefing, California Public Health officer Dr. Mark Ghaly announced that the state would largely lift the edict requiring indoor mask-wearing on June 15.

That date is the same day the Golden State is expected to end Gov. Gavin Newsom’s rigid, color-coded reopening scheme and eliminate capacity limits on businesses and other activities.

The decision to delay removing the mask mandate comes as 29 states across the U.S. moved to eliminate their indoor mask mandates on businesses and individuals.

That includes the other three of four states comprising Gov. Gavin Newsom’s once highly-touted “Western States Pact”: Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

The Monday announcement led to criticism about the Newsom administration’s unwillingness to stick with its own messaging and “follow the science.”

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at