Masks are now required in private homes (pdf) on Thanksgiving in Santa Cruz Couty, California. The draconian indoor mask mandate applies to all groups of unrelated individuals gathering for the holiday.
That means if your family gathers and a child brings a college friend home for the Thanksgiving break, or a fiancee joins your child, you’ll need to wear a mask. The law does not take into account vaccination status or previous covid diagnosis, according to the county document.
“Masks must be worn in private settings, including your home, when non-household members are present,” the county wrote, without saying how it would enforce masking inside private homes.
The mandate will also apply to public settings including offices and grocery stores. Businesses will be required to post signs about the mask requirement, the county said.
Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel mentioned a “winter surge” without providing data for why a “winter surge” will occur.
Citing individuals’ desire to spend more time “with those we love during the holidays, it is important to protect vulnerable friends and family members by wearing a mask indoors,” Newel said.
According to data provided by Santa Cruz County, which is located south of the San Francisco Bay Area, about 72 percent of residents have received at least one vaccine dose while 67 percent are fully vaccinated.
Newel said the mask requirement will remain in effect indefinitely until it is amended, rescinded, or superseded.
Critics have already called the mandate unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy and say they expect the vast majority of families to ignore the law.