In outdoor settings, unvaccinated children and youth do not need to wear a mask, even if they cannot maintain physical distancing. However, per CDC recommendations, people who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact (including high-risk contact sports) with other people who are not fully vaccinated.
In indoor youth settings (including K-12 Schools, childcare and other youth settings), everyone must wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. This is especially important for children age 2 through 11 who are currently in eligible for vaccines and are therefore "unvaccinated." See the State of California's guidance on face coverings for more information.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is closely monitoring anticipated updates from the CDC regarding K-12 and other youth settings and will update recommendations at that time.
On June 15, 2021, The State of California changed its mask requirements to match the CDC’s. The need to wear a mask now depends on your individual vaccination status and the setting you are in.
- Vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most circumstances
- Unvaccinated people should wear masks in indoor, public settings
- Everyone should wear masks in:
- Public transit
- Long-term care facilities
- Homeless shelters
- Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
See CDPH’s Face Coverings Q&A to learn more about where masks are still required or recommended.
Read Get the Most out of Masking to learn how a mask can best protect you.
In the workplace, fully vaccinated workers do not need to wear a mask indoors, however, unvaccinated workers should wear a mask in indoor settings.
Businesses and venues are allowed to require masks.
Business and event-venue operators can choose how to enforce the rules. According to the state, they have three options:
· Businesses and venues can publicly post rules regarding mask- wearing and allow customers and visitors to "self-attest" that they are vaccinated, meaning if someone enters the business without a mask they are attesting to being vaccinated.
· They can "implement a vaccine-verification system to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
· They can simply require all patrons to wear a mask.
Businesses are also not allowed to prevent anyone from wearing a mask or refuse service to anyone who chooses to wear a face covering.
For information around:
- vaccine verification/negative testing
- capacity limitations
- physical distancing
- and exceptions to mega event guidance
Please visit the California Department of Public Health's website:
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). This occurs through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. This is similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). People can also be contagious before they show symptoms.
The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to:
- Frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
- Clean and disinfect surfaces – particularly those that people frequently touch
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when you go out in public if you are unvaccinated
- Remember to cover your cough or sneeze, then throw away used tissues and wash your hands
- Isolate yourself if you have symptoms or were in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
INDOORS: Yes, since they are currently ineligible for vaccines and are therefore "unvaccinated." This requirement is subject to forthcoming CDC guidance addressing schools and youth settings. "Youth settings" include K-12 schools and child care, and also cover day camps for youth, youth sports and other youth activities, including theater and music performances and band. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is closely monitoring anticipated updates from the CDC regarding K-12 and other youth settings and will update recommendations at that time.
OUTDOORS: In general, unvaccinated children and youth do not need to wear a mask outdoors, even if they cannot maintain physical distancing. However, per CDC recommendations, in areas of substantial to high transmission, people who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact (including high-risk contact sports) with other people who are not fully vaccinated.
Marin County is aligned with CDPH face covering / mask guidelines and has no additional restriction on the use of masks. All Marin residents and businesses should defer to state guidance.