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San Diegans react to extension of California mask mandate

Cloak and Petal employee wearing a mask while working in kitchen.png
Roland Lizarondo
A Cloak and Petal employee wearing a mask while in the restaurant's kitchen after California extends the mask mandate through February 15, 2022 in Little Italy on January 6, 2022.

California’s mask mandate was set to expire next week, but with the rise in COVID cases, the mandate has been extended to at least February 15th due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Currently, mask-wearing is required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status in all indoor spaces, such as bars, restaurants and retail stores.

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Cesar Vallin is the managing partner at Cloak and Petal in Little Italy. He said his staff is adjusting to the changing situation. “We’re so used to this now, so we just roll with the punches here and we really try to focus and channel our energy on things that we can control,” he said. “We’re here to follow, be in compliance and whatever that looks like, however long that takes, that’s just our answer to everything."

Cloak and Petal serves between 2,000 and 2,800 guests a week. Vallin said most of them are understanding of the mask mandate.

“This time around it’s probably been the least stressful on our team members than it has been in the past,” Vallin said. “At the very beginning there were a lot of arguments. People yelling. People trying to spit on people. It was bad. Now, knock on wood, we haven’t had to deal with any of that stuff recently.”

Mask mandate extended through February 15th

Del Cerro resident Kevin Donahue was enjoying lunch in Little Italy Thursday. He said he’s fine with having to wear a mask a little longer.


“I think what the state of California is doing is legitimate. This is our pandemic right now and it will be over at some point and it will become ‘end-demic’ instead and we can move on, but I think at this time it’s good to be responsible to our neighbors and wear a mask when you’re indoors,” Donahue said.

RELATED: Omicron surge hitting San Diego County employers hard

Vallin has some advice for those who are dining out.

“Just to the people out there going to restaurants, just know that we’re not out there making the rules and be easy on these people,” Vallin continued, “A lot of them are working extra hours because people are being called off because of exposures or COVID.”

Health officials announced as February 15th approaches they will reevaluate the COVID situation across California and whether the mask mandate will be lifted or extended.