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Is a mask mandate in the US the same as a law?

Quartz: “California’s latest mask mandate went into effect this week, requiring face coverings in all public indoor settings through Jan. 15, 2022. In counties where local health authorities had already issued mask mandates, the new statewide rule won’t change daily life. And in San Francisco, where vaccination rates are high and community transmission remains relatively low, fully vaccinated residents are exempt from the rule in gyms and workplaces.For everyone else in the state, however, governor Gavin Newsom’s rule may require some mental adjustment, acknowledged Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency. “We know people are tired and hungry for normalcy. Frankly, I am too,” he said earlier this week. “That said, this is a critical time where we have a tool that we know has worked. We are proactively putting this tool of universal indoor masking in public settings in place to ensure we get through a time of joy and hope without a darker cloud of concern and despair.. California is not the only state that has responded to rising covid-19 case counts and the omicron variant by imposing (or re-imposing) indoor masking directives. To protect residents and prevent hospital systems from being overwhelmed, New York and six other states have made the same call. But the legal status of mandates continues to be questioned…”

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