Jul 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

California State Capitol mask mandate returns after COVID outbreak

Members of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) wearing protective masks stand outside the California State Capitol building in Sacramento, California, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.

The California State Capitol in Sacramento. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The California State Capitol in Sacramento has reimposed a mask mandate after nine staff tested positive for COVID-19 — including four people who'd been fully vaccinated against the virus, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday.

What's happening: State lawmakers and staff members must wear face coverings "at all times in the Capitol, the Legislative Office Building and district offices," whether they've been vaccinated against the coronavirus or not, per the New York Times.

  • Under the new policy, which came into effect Tuesday, the Senate and the Assembly will twice a week test staff who aren't fully vaccinated against the virus, per the Times.

The big picture: The highly infectious Delta variant, now the dominant strain in the U.S., has driven a rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state, causing concern for health officials, the Los Angeles Times notes.

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