California's statewide indoor mask mandate—set to expire Jan. 15—has been extended until at least Feb. 15, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California and Utah.
- California: California state officials announced that the statewide mask mandate—set to expire Jan. 15—will be extended until at least Feb. 15 due to surging Covid-19 cases, largely driven by the omicron variant. Mask-wearing is currently required for all individuals in indoor spaces—including bars, restaurants, and retail stores—regardless of vaccination status. As the mandate's Feb. 15 deadline approaches, "we will again re-evaluate the condition across California, our communities and our health care delivery settings to make sure that we are taking the latest information into account to determine if there would be another extension, or if we're prepared to lift that requirement across the state," said California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly. (Franklin, NPR, 1/5)
- California: The Recording Academy on Wednesday announced that the 2022 Grammy Awards, originally scheduled for Jan. 31, have been postponed because of surging Covid-19 cases, largely driven by the omicron variant. This is the second year the awards show has been postponed because of Covid-19. According to The Recording Academy, hosting the show while the fast-spreading omicron variant circulates "simply contains too many risks." They added, "The health of and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority." (Garfinkel, Axios, 1/5)
- Utah: University of Utah Hospital announced that it will postpone around 20% of its surgeries for at least a week after the hospital on Tuesday reported that at least 500 of its employees were either sick or isolating due to the latest Covid-19 surge. "We have to be able to preserve our abilities to do surgeries ... where major risk to life or limb are at stake," said Robert Glasgow, the hospital's chair of surgery. University of Utah Hospital joins hospitals in other states—including Virginia, Illinois, and Pennsylvania—in postponing elective and nonurgent surgeries because of staffing challenges. (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/5)