SACRAMENTO, California (LifeSiteNews) — California this week finally lifted its remaining COVID-related mandates for healthcare facilities, scrapping the state-enforced mask, jab, and quarantine requirements for medical professionals. The move comes after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom eliminated California’s state of emergency in February, almost a full three years after the coronavirus outbreak.
Announced on March 3, the relaxing of the COVID rules for healthcare workers officially took effect on Monday.
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH)’s new guidelines, “masks will no longer be required in indoor high-risk and health care settings,” including “health care, long-term care, and correctional facilities as well as homeless, emergency, and warming and cooling centers.”
The state is also lifting its jab mandate for healthcare workers, though “federal rules continuing to ensure that most health care workers remain vaccinated for COVID-19” will remain. The federal CMS jab mandate for healthcare workers applies nationwide and was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in January, 2022.
In an additional change that took effect March 13, California also stripped back its quarantine rules for healthcare workers who tested positive for the virus, allowing them to “end isolation after five days if they feel well, have improving symptoms, and are fever-free for 24 hours, with less emphasis on testing negative” in accordance with updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“We stand before Californians today with a humble message of thanks for taking the hard steps to help manage COVID-19, and with an ongoing commitment to be prepared for what comes next,” CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón said in a previous March statement.
Healthcare workers and first responders have frequently borne the brunt of much of the COVID-19 rules imposed in California and throughout the U.S.
Since the rollout of the COVID-19 shots in late 2020, healthcare workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and others who were once hailed as frontline heroes during the pandemic have been fired, forced out, or placed on unpaid leave for refusing to get the jabs for medical, religious, or other reasons.
Though relaxing its state enforced guidelines, however, California is standing by the often draconian COVID measures imposed at the height of the outbreak.
In a press release, CDPH argued that California’s COVID controls “[s]aved countless lives” and “prevented infection and severe illness,” adding that the Golden State “continues to have one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the nation.”
California ranked 24th out of all 50 states in reported COVID-19 mortality rates per 100,000 for 2021 and 2022, placing behind several Republican-led states including Nebraska and Utah, according to the CDC.
CDPH also noted that California, which imposed the nation’s first public mask mandate in March 2020 and swiftly implemented lockdown rules that shuttered churches, schools, and businesses, also “[a]dministered 88 million vaccinations,” resulting in an almost 73% rate of primary dosage uptake among the state population.
However, ongoing research indicates that COVID-related mask and jab mandates were ineffective. In addition, the value of the experimental COVID shots has been called into serious question amid the shots’ sliding efficacy, failure to stop transmission, and reports of serious adverse events.
Across the country, intrusive public health measures like mask mandates and vaccine requirements have not only failed in the courts after causing lasting societal harm, but have drawn serious public backlash and created division among Americans.
As the U.S. clears its third year since the declaration of the public health emergency, demand for ongoing booster jabs continues to plummet. As of April 5, only about 16.5% of the U.S. population are “up to date” on their booster jabs, according to the CDC.