Mask mandate will remain, even after Newsom's June 15 reopening plans

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom is making it clear, "We don't have any short term goals as it relates to lifting the mask mandate," he told reporters on Tuesday.

So, we're asking viewers: When state requirements are finally lifted, will you ditch your mask? Should you?

ABC7 News reached out to health experts for answers.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom announces plan to fully reopen California on June 15

Dr. Dean Winslow, a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, said he anticipates it'll be some time before we even have an option.

"I do think that probably, well into next year, it may be appropriate for people to continue to wear masks when they're out in public," he said.

In most outside settings and within public indoor areas, Californians have been required to mask up since mid-June, 2020.

On June 15 of this year- the day Governor Newsom plans to fully reopen the state's economy- the on-going mask mandate will keep residents from a true return to a pre-pandemic "normal."

Dr. Winslow said until a significant percentage of the population is immunized, masks should continue to be part of everyone's plans.

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"It's really important that until we get well above, I think 75, or even 80-percent of the population immunized, that we continue these physical mitigating measures," he advised. "It's a reasonable thing to do. It's relatively inexpensive and I think now, most of us are used to wearing masks, most of the time."

ABC7 News posted a poll to Twitter, asking if people would continue wearing masks once the pandemic ends.

Among the responses, a tweet from a man named Matt read in part, "There are places like public transit, and times during winter months and allergy season, that they just make sense."

A user named Ryza wrote she's, "Still on the fence." Adding, "I do definitely miss having the lifestyle of not wearing one. But to for the sake of my health due to pollution and the health of others - it helps more than it ever will bother for me to do so."

RELATED: Health officials warn to 'keep guard up' as California moves closer to fully reopening

Erica shared, "I loathe masks. I'm partially deaf."

"Not only do masks make speech muffled, but I need to see peoples' mouths when they're talking," she wrote.

Other health officials warn residents must "keep our guard up" as the state moves closer to fully reopening.

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"Just because everything may be open doesn't mean that everything is now safe, so it just means that we need to keep our guard up, and that if we do participate in any activities that we just don't feel that comfortable in, that we either don't do them, or make you've got your mask on and you're social distancing," said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County COVID-19 vaccine and testing officer.

Dr. Winslow echoed wearing masks is probably the most important thing, other than avoiding crowded indoor environments.


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