CDPH Updates COVID-19 Masking Guidance for Indoor Public Spaces and K-12 Schools and Childcare Facilities

CDPH Masking Guidance

March 1, 2022 – Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its statewide COVID-19 (Coronavirus) masking guidance to align with recent data trends which show dramatic decreases in the level of COVID-19 virus and virus transmission throughout the state.  The two main updates impact general indoor public spaces, and K-12 schools and childcare.

  • General Indoor Public Spaces: Effective March 1, 2022, the statewide mask mandate for unvaccinated individuals within indoor public spaces will be lifted, and replaced with a strong recommendation for masking within indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
  • K-12 Schools and Childcare Facilities: Effective March 12, 2022, the statewide mandate requiring universal masking in K-12 schools and childcare facilities will be lifted, and replaced with a strong recommendation.

Masks will still be required in the following select settings, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Public Transit
  • Hospitals and Healthcare Settings (including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities)
  • Emergency Shelters
  • Correctional Facilities

Since February 14, 2022, statewide COVID-19 cases have dropped 66%, hospitalizations have dropped 48%, pediatric hospitalizations have dropped 47%, and test positivity has dropped 53%. 

The updated masking guidance announced today is in line with the recently introduced California SMARTER – the next phase of California’s COVID-19 response.  California SMARTER is anchored in the State’s focus on equity and addressing disparities.  Details on SMARTER can be accessed here:

The CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Masks can be accessed here:


Both OptumServe and Mono County Public Health provide free COVID-19 testing clinics in Mono County (pending weather-related issues). In addition, every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four (4) free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from the federal government.  The tests are completely free, and orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.  The tests can be accessed here:

About the tests:

  • The at-home tests are rapid antigen tests, not PCR
  • Can be taken anywhere
  • Results in 30 minutes (no lab drop-off required)
  • The tests will work whether or not you have COVID-⁠19 symptoms
  • The tests will work whether or not you are up to date on your COVID-⁠19 vaccines

When to test:

  • If you begin having COVID-⁠19 symptoms, including fever, sore throat, runny nose, or loss of taste or smell, or
  • At least 5 days after you come into close contact with someone with COVID-⁠19, or
  • When you’re going to gather with a group of people, especially those who are at risk of severe disease or may not be up to date on their COVID-⁠19 vaccines

Mono County Public Health offers testing in other locations throughout the county at various times throughout the week.  While both OptumServe and Mono County Public Health accept walk-ins at their COVID-19 testing clinics, pre-registration is strongly encouraged as walk-ins will only be accommodated pending resource availability.

The COVID-19 testing schedule for March can be accessed here: