Seven Bay Area Counties Reinstate Indoor Mask Mandate for Everyone Regardless of Vaccination Status

Seven Bay Area counties — San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Marin and Sonoma — are now mandating that everyone — regardless of vaccination status — wear masks indoors as the delta variant of COVID-19 spreads in the region.

The seven highly vaccinated counties previously recommended, but did not require, masks indoors. Napa and Solano counties are the only Bay Area counties not mandating indoor masking, but Napa County issued a recommendation two weeks ago.

The long-speculated order (which takes effect Tuesday) comes after the CDC updated its mask guidance to recommend that everyone — even those fully vaccinated — wear masks indoors. The CDC report notes that even though vaccinated individuals are at minimal risk of severe disease if a breakthrough infection occurs, there is some evidence vaccinated individuals who become infected can spread the virus to others.

Health officials from the seven Bay Area counties (plus the city of Berkeley, which is under its own public health jurisdiction) formally announced the new order at noon Monday. San Francisco officials signaled last week an indoor mask mandate was where the region was headed.

During the Monday briefing, county health officials did not directly answer questions on how long the mandate would last or whether further measures such as business closures will be considered. Officials said that hospitalization numbers will be closely monitored to determine when the new order will change.

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SOURCE: SF Gate, Eric Ting

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