Regardless of your vaccination status, you are now mandated to wear masks indoors in the seven Bay Area counties including San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, and Contra Costa, as the COVID-19 delta variant continues to pose a threat.
Wearing masks indoors started as a recommendation in these counties with high vaccination rates.
The announced mandates leave the Napa and Solano counties in the Bay Area to not declare mask mandates. Napa County, however, recommended wearing it a couple of weeks ago.
The order, which started taking effect on Tuesday, was issued following the CDC’s guidance for everyone to wear a mask indoors. According to the CDC, vaccinated individuals could carry the virus and infect others even though they have less risk in getting a serious breakthrough case.
The new order was announced by the seven Bay Area Counties and the city of Berkeley on Monday noon. Last week, officials from San Francisco hinted that the region can mandate mask-wearing.
County health officials on Monday did not face head-on questions regarding the period of the mandate implementation. It also failed to address concerns on expanded measures like business closures.
According to the officials, there will be close monitoring of the hospitalization numbers to ascertain the changes in the new order.
The order will also not prohibit indoor dining, officials said, 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, SFGate reported.
The majority of the present hospitalizations are unvaccinated individuals, county health officials cite. There were also cases of vaccinated individuals but mostly involving people of old age or with underlying health issues.