With the spread of COVID-19 on the rise, Gov. Gavin Newsom faces a delicate decision over whether to again impose statewide mask requirements in all indoor public places and risk upsetting Californians just weeks before they decide if he should be recalled from office.
In Los Angeles County, home to one out of every four Californians, residents are required to wear masks in those settings whether they are vaccinated or not. Seven San Francisco Bay Area counties last week recommended the use of masks, as did Sacramento and Yolo counties, to help stem the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
Though the Newsom administration has thus far deferred to counties, that could change if California continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“There have been so many points during the pandemic where it was hard to know what I would do,” said Dr. Karen Smith, a communicable disease physician and former director of the California Department of Public Health. “This is actually kind of the hardest one.”
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