As cases continue to surge as a result of the increased circulation of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Public Health has modified its Health Officer Order to include additional safety measures to reduce transmission risks knowing that vaccinations alone are not sufficient to prevent spread of Omicron. As soon as possible, but no later than January 17th, employers are required to provide their employees who work indoors in close contact with others with well-fitting medical grade masks, surgical masks, or higher-level respirators, such as N95 or KN95 masks. These upgraded masks are better at blocking virus particles from going through the mask.
The new modifications include an alignment with the State Public Health Officer Order changing attendance thresholds at mega events; for outdoor mega events, the new attendance threshold has been lowered to 5,000 attendees, and for indoor mega events, the new threshold is 500 attendees. Operators of mega events, performance venues, movie theaters, and entertainment venues are responsible for the messaging, signage, and compliance of masking requirements unless spectators or customers are actively eating or drinking. Additionally, Public Health recommends that food and drink be consumed in designated dining areas.
Lastly, food and drinks are prohibited at card room gaming tables and masks must always be worn while indoors at card rooms, except for when actively eating or drinking in designated dining areas.
These modifications recognize the importance of wearing well-fitting, high-quality masks that do the best job filtering out virus when in close contact with others.