Follow your county’s community level to determine masking recommendations in your area.
On this page:
When to wear a mask
These are the statewide guidelines for masks. Your local area may require masks where the state doesn’t. Check your area’s COVID-19 website.
- Healthcare settings
- Long-term care and adult senior care settings
In other settings, masks may be recommended for people who are vulnerable. Masks are recommended for everyone when levels of COVID-19 infections are higher, depending on CDC COVID-19 Community Level.
Learn more in Guidance for the Use of Face Masks.
Upgrade your mask
When cases are on the rise or your risk is higher, increase your protection by upgrading your mask.
- Double mask
- Fitted surgical mask
- Surgical mask
- Cloth mask with 3 or more layers
Whatever mask you wear, make sure it fits to your face closely and without gaps.
The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:
- Children under two years old, due to the risk of suffocation
- People with:
- A medical condition,
- Mental health condition, or
- Disability that precludes wearing a mask. This includes:
- Those for whom a mask could obstruct breathing
- Who are unconscious or incapacitated
- Unable to remove a mask without help
- People for whom seeing the mouth is essential for communication:
- Hearing impaired, or
- Those communicating with a person who is hearing impaired
- People for whom wearing a mask would create a risk as they work, as determined by:
- Local, state, or federal regulators, or
- Workplace safety guidelines
Read more about mask exemptions at Guidance for the Use of Face Masks.
Masking at work
Cal/OSHA has issued the following mask requirements.
- Masks are strongly recommended indoors
- In outbreaks, wear masks indoors and outdoors when you can’t maintain six feet of distance
- Masks are not required outdoors (except during outbreaks)
- Workers should train for outdoor use of face coverings
- Employers must provide unvaccinated employees with NIOSH-certified respirator masks for voluntary use when:
- Working indoors, or
- In a vehicle with others
For more information, see:
- Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)