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California mask mandate extended to mid-February


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Keep that mask handy, California's indoor mask mandate is being extended again. This time until at least February 15 as omicron cases surge across the state and country.

Originally the mandate was set to last until Jan. 15.

State leaders say they don't expect business closures during this surge and say vaccines and boosters are still the best protection. State leaders are closely monitoring hospitalizations.

Right now California is approaching 51,000 hospitalizations, about 8,000 are COVID-related.

During the peak of last winter's surge, hospitalizations hit 53,000.

The California Department of Public Health is trying to expand testing options to ease the burden on hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care centers.

The state is also working with school districts to expand testing. Since Dec. 22, 6.2 million tests were distributed to education offices across California.

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