Napa County becomes eighth in the Bay Area to mandate mask use indoors

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Starting Friday morning just after midnight, all people in Napa County will be required to use masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

The universal masking mandate makes Napa County become the eighth in the Bay Area to implement the said measure. It leaves Solano County to be the sole area to have not released the said requirement.

Previously, Napa County announced universal masking as a recommendation, as connected to the state of California’s encouragement for everyone, vaccinated or not, to use masks indoors.

According to the county, the new mandate was needed “in light of the recent significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Napa County, due primarily to the delta variant,” which is known to be a more infectious coronavirus version.

While Napa County recommended vaccination as the optimum protection against the virus, it said that masking up indoors “is the least disruptive and most immediately impactful additional measure to take to control the spread of the virus.”

Between July 20 and August 4, the county’s infection case rate has increased more than twofold to now 16.5 per 100, 000. The rate, however, is still lower than 21.4 per 100, 000 in average recorded in the Bay Area, San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The counties of San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, and Contra Costa were the first to require using masks indoors, also amid the threat of the delta variant.

With the mask mandate, however, officials in the seven counties clarified that indoor dining will not be prohibited as dining establishments and bars are allowed to carry out operations in full capacity. Masks are also allowed to be temporarily removed while eating and drinking.