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COVID-19 Indoor Mask Mandate Returns in California

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Californians will celebrate the holiday season with masks re-wearing indoors after a new mandate was announced from Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday afternoon. As reported by the Associated Press, the statewide indoor mask mandate begins tomorrow, December 15 and ends in 30 days on January 15, 2022. It will affect about 50 percent of Californians who aren’t already covered by local mask mandates and come as COVID-19 Cases across the state are on the rise — and as a new omicron variant underscores the harsh reality that this pandemic is far from over.

In terms of restaurant dining, the new mandate shouldn’t change much for Bay Area residents. In October, a coalition of counties across the region decided to ease indoor mask requirements in some settings, which now vary by county, but San Francisco hasn’t backtracked on mask requirements for indoor eating and drinking. This means that we will do that Still Wear masks when not eating or drinking indoors – and we’ll also need to keep them in offices, gyms, religious gatherings, and just about everywhere.

Across California with this new mandate, there are also some tougher new restrictions on events of more than 1,000 people; Unvaccinated people who attend indoor events of this size will be required to test negative within a day or two. Travel recommendations have also been updated to recommend that anyone returning to or visiting the state be screened within five days of arrival. [AP]

SF Burger King franchisee cited nearly $2 million for wage theft

San Francisco Burger King franchisee was cited $1.9 million for wage theft in 2020 and a separate but related city case was settled for $800,000 — but workers say they haven’t seen much money yet and are now working with nonprofit Trabajadores Unidos workers united to try to raise Awareness level about the situation, which you can read about in SF Chronicle. [SF Chronicle]

Here’s a summary of how Bay Area cities treat parks

San Francisco’s efforts to make parks permanent have never been smooth, and regulations for places to eat outdoors vary from city to city. right Now SF Chronicle He has a helpful explanation about the position of things from Oakland to San Jose. [SF Chronicle]

California restaurants and grocery stores look to disrupt new bacon law

An AP report picked up by KTVU says a coalition of California restaurants and grocery stores — including the California Grocery Association — has sued to try to push for the implementation of a new law they say could cause the price of pork products, including bacon, in the new year. The law, which is supposed to take effect on January 1, addresses regulations on the humane treatment of animals. [KTVU]

Berkeley cabbage soup lovers, stand up

A report from Berkeleyside tells the light-hearted story and is actually a funny Nextdoor joke: Phil Narodick, an eccentric guy living in a co-op, has accused someone in his neighborhood of stealing his family’s secret recipe for cabbage soup. It’s an enjoyable read.

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