The Ventura County Public Health Officer this week extended the indoor mask order that requires all individuals wear face coverings when indoors in public settings. The new details also establish criteria for ending the mandate.

The current mandate requires that coverings be worn over the mouth and nose – regardless of vaccination status – in all indoor public settings, venues and workplaces, including offices, stores, restaurants and bars, theaters, conference and event centers and government offices. Limited exceptions for sincerely held religious beliefs and medical conditions exempt some patrons and staff.

The indoor mask order, updated Monday, will remain in effect until Ventura County reaches three criteria. First, the county must maintain a moderate COVID-19 transmission tier for at least three weeks, hospitalization rates must also remain stable by the judgment of the health officer, and either 80 percent of the county’s eligible population must be vaccinated or eight weeks must have passed once a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for emergency use for 5-to-11-year-olds.

Federal regulators will meet over the next two weeks to determine the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for this age group but, as of yet, have not authorized their use for children aged 11 or younger.

“The order is necessary to reduce the rate of community spread and to reinforce the need for safe interactions. We will continue to monitor transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccination rates throughout the County,” Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin said in a statement.