UC Davis Health is vaccinating ages 12 and older

We're offering COVID-19 vaccines (first, second, and third doses) to anyone age 12 and older. Please use MyUCDavisHealth or California’s MyTurn.ca.gov to schedule your vaccine appointment.

UC Davis Health patients and non-patients can schedule appointments at our clinics in Auburn, Carmichael, Davis, Elk Grove, Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Rocklin, Roseville, and Sacramento.

UC Davis Health is committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information and science on face masks and COVID-19. Learn why you should wear a face covering and which mask is the best to protect yourself and others:

Some counties in California, including Sacramento and Yolo counties, have again implemented a mask requirement for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status. This comes just over a month after California lifted its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people.

On July 27, the CDC reversed its previous recommendation to advise those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks indoors. This is partly due to the increased spread of the highly contagious Delta variant that is affecting largely unvaccinated people, but also some vaccinated people who have experienced mild symptoms.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in all of the following locations: 

  • public transportation (including airplanes, ships, buses, taxis, and rideshares)
  • K-12 schools
  • health care settings
  • long-term care facilities
  • state and local correction facilities and detention centers
  • homeless shelters

CDPH still requires all unvaccinated people to wear masks in indoor settings and businesses.

    Some counties in California, including Sacramento and Yolo counties, have again implemented a mask requirement for everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status. This comes just over a month after California lifted its indoor mask mandate for vaccinated people.

    On July 27, the CDC reversed its previous recommendation to advise those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks indoors. This is partly due to the increased spread of the highly contagious Delta variant that is affecting largely unvaccinated people, but also some vaccinated people who have experienced mild symptoms.

    According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in all of the following locations: 

    • public transportation (including airplanes, ships, buses, taxis, and rideshares)
    • K-12 schools
    • health care settings
    • long-term care facilities
    • state and local correction facilities and detention centers
    • homeless shelters

    Initially, it was recommended that if you were outdoors you didn't have to mask. Additionally, if you were indoors and not vaccinated you did have to mask, but if you were vaccinated you didn't. Now, the rules are that you have to mask all the time regardless of whether you're vaccinated or not. That's based on the fact that there's a transmission, potentially, from vaccinated infected people even if they're asymptomatic.

    Part of the reason all this is happening is because of the Delta variant. What researchers notice is that the Delta variant has about 1,000 times more virus in a person's nose than the initial variant from February 2020. That means there is a lot more COVID-19 being spread, and that also means that it's much more easily transmitted.

    N95s are the best protection against the Delta variant, but most people don't have N95 masks that are fitted properly. Instead, surgical masks or good cloth masks that fit well should be enough protection against the Delta variant and other strains of COVID-19.

    The evidence has become even more powerful for wearing masks and social distancing. For instance, research shows that about 40% of COVID-19 infections are caused by people who don’t know they have the virus because their symptoms have not appeared yet. Wearing a face mask can help reduce novel coronavirus transmission to those wearing a mask and others nearby by as much as 65%.

    To prevent droplets from escaping, the face covering should cover both your nose and mouth at all times. When putting on or removing a face mask, use the ear loops on the side to ensure you don’t contaminate or touch any contaminated piece of the mask. Don’t touch eyes, nose or mouth when removing your face mask to avoid droplet spread.

    Learn the mask safety do's and don'ts (PDF)

    The most important thing is to pick materials you can breathe through. Currently, there is no recommendation for the most effective cloth for homemade masks. There are still a lot of unknowns about how droplets pass through cloth materials. Best practice is to look for fabrics that are very densely woven or knitted and have fibers that are packed together with smaller pores. This is where the difficult balance comes in. Fabrics that are easier to breathe through don’t block as much of the large droplets. Homemade masks don’t prevent transmission but can reduce the quantity and size of COVID-19 droplets you transmit or are you’re exposed to.

    Get directions to make low-cost face masks for yourself and your family

    Video: U.S. Surgeon General shows you how to make face masks from items around your house

    Masks with filter ports can increase the spread COVID-19. They’re designed for people working around caustic fumes or chemicals – and they force out the air you’re breathing through the port. Instead of protecting someone from you, they propel your breath, and possibly droplets with the virus, even farther and more forcefully.

    N95s with the filter in the middle also do not prevent someone from spreading the virus. They filter air coming in but do let air out.

    Cloth face masks can and should be washed regularly (daily or multiple times per week). Cloth face coverings typically hold up well through repeated washing and wearing. Paper or surgical face masks should be changed out every few wears.

    The plexiglass shields in stores and restaurants only help to somewhat dissipate COVID-19 droplets. They do not prevent the spread of virus through aerosols, which are currently being studied. The same is true for office cubicles. After a while, transmission is possible from aerosols if the air flow is not good. One way to think about this is if someone on the other side of the cubicle or plexiglass is wearing perfume, you eventually smell it. The same is true for how COVID-19 aerosols can travel. That’s why air flow is so important, along with other actions like wearing masks and social distancing.

    Face coverings are typically not required when exercising outdoors alone (walking, hiking, bicycling, running, etc.) or with people who live with you, and when no one else is within 6 feet. However, you should still have a face covering with you in case you encounter a situation where you will be within 6 feet of other people.

    The CDC released updated guidance on May 13 that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can "resume activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart." This includes both indoor and outdoor activities, "except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance."

    However, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) still has mandatory face mask requirements listed for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

    Children over the age of 2 should wear a face covering in public, unless they have a health reason not to, according to CDC guidelines. However, children under age 2 should not wear masks because they can be choking hazards, can cause breathing trouble and the bands that go around the head can be strangulation hazards. In addition, children of that age cannot reliably remove their mask on their own and could suffocate. View this video and story PDF from the UC Davis MIND Institute to help teach your child about wearing masks.

    Parent resources to learn more about children and COVID-19