PASADENA, Calif.—As of Thursday, March 3, LA County and Pasadena have moved into the low COVID-19 community level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community level designation. Therefore, Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) is issuing updated health officer orders that will go into effect on Friday, March 4.
Under these revised orders, indoor masking will be strongly recommended, but not required, for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, except in high-risk settings where federal and state regulations continue to require masking, including everyone using public transit and all those in emergency shelters and cooling centers, healthcare settings, correctional and detention facilities, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities.
Employers will still be required to offer and provide, for voluntary use, medical-grade masks and/or respirators to employees working indoors in close contact with other workers and/or customers. No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business. Businesses, worksites, operators or hosts may choose to implement COVID-19 risk mitigation measures for employees, patrons and visitors, including requirements for masking or verification of vaccination status or negative COVID-19 test prior to entry. These measures are recommended by PPHD and the state when risk may be higher due to conditions such as crowding, potentially larger numbers of unvaccinated people, presence of people at risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19, or inadequate ventilation.
Masks are required by the state health officer order indoors at schools and childcare facilities until March 11, after which masks will be strongly recommended for students, children, teachers and staff, regardless of vaccination status. Schools may choose to continue to require masking on campus, on buses and transportation, and during school activities utilizing considerations such as their campus vaccination rates, quality of indoor ventilation, staff and family preferences, risk profile of their community, testing resources mobilized, and degree of implementation of other appropriate safety protections for their school community. Schools may decide on their masking policies based on their own assessment without permission or approval from PPHD, but the PPHD Schools Technical Assistance Team has been and will continue to be available to work closely with schools to guide this important decision-making. Masking may be required by PPHD in certain instances such as outbreak scenarios.
Masking is strongly recommended for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor public spaces because transmission remains a significant risk for many in Pasadena and across Los Angeles County and state. Surgical masks or respirators (e.g., N95s, KN95s, KF94s) with good fit remain highly recommended.
People who are ill with COVID-19 symptoms should wear a mask regardless of vaccination status, test and stay home. Masking is still required for those who exit isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 early (on day 5 with a negative test and resolving symptoms) through day 10 of their isolation or quarantine period. As a reminder, regardless of the community risk level, people can wear a mask based on their personal preference, comfort level, and their personal level of risk. At every risk level, those who are exposed or symptomatic should be tested and a negative test is required to exit isolation or quarantine between days 6-10.
Including masking, two additional community prevention strategies are vaccine verification and ventilation. Vaccine verification in healthcare and congregate care settings continues to be required across all community risk levels. Vaccine verification also continues to be required for entry to indoor mega events, with a negative COVID-19 test result required for those not fully vaccinated. Vaccine verification at outdoor mega events and indoor portions of bars, nightclubs and lounges is no longer required and will be strongly recommended.
Up-to-date vaccination (including booster doses when eligible) is highly recommended for everyone ages 5 and older as the safe and effective way to protect against severe disease from COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. In addition, PPHD strongly encourages people to continue to mask indoors and follow other common-sense COVID-19 safety strategies, such as staying home when sick; frequent handwashing; and testing for COVID-19 when in contact with someone who has the virus or when experiencing any COVID-like symptoms.
For local COVID-19 resources, including testing and vaccination locations, visit: www.cityofpasadena.net/covid-19
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