Most Bay Area Counties to Lift Indoor Mask Mandate February 16

Most Bay Area counties are following California’s lead and are lifting universal indoor mask requirements for vaccinated people as COVID omicron variant cases subside across the state.

The lone holdout among Bay Area counties is Santa Clara, with county health officials arguing lifting local indoor mask requirements would present an unnecessary risk to residents who are vulnerable to the virus.
Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley will end their mandate for most indoor public settings beginning Feb. 16., officials announced Wednesday.

Unvaccinated people over age 2 will continue to be required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. However, businesses and venue operators may still choose to require all patrons to wear masks.

Officials are still highly recommending that people wear masks and get their vaccinations and boosters to further strengthen their defenses.

The officials in the 10 counties argued that COVID’s spread has also waned significantly across the region and that relaxing mask requirements is part of a shift toward a “new normal” of living with the virus rather than attempting to snuff out its spread completely.

Santa Clara County public health officials expect to lift most indoor mask requirements for vaccinated residents “in a matter of weeks,” once the county’s seven-day average of new cases per day falls below 500 for at least one week and Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody deems hospitalizations in the county to be “low and stable.”

Indoor masking will still required by the state for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, on public transportation, health care settings, congregate settings like correctional facilities and homeless shelters, long term care facilities, and in K-12 schools and childcare settings.

Excerpted from “Most Bay Area counties to lift indoor mask mandate Feb. 16; Santa Clara Co. will not” from ABC News. Read the full article online.

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