News

Bay Area health officers urge masking indoors regardless of vaccination, but stop short of new mandate

'Masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection'

Araceli Fitz folds clothes at El Camino Laundromat in Mountain View on April 21, 2020. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)

A coalition of Bay Area health officials urged residents across the region Friday to resume wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley issued the advisory "out of an abundance of caution" but have yet to issue a new masking mandate for shared indoor spaces like grocery and retail stores.

The health officials also stressed that fully vaccinated residents remain well-protected both from contracting the virus, including the currently observed variants, and from becoming seriously ill or dying.

Employees are encouraged to continue following the masking guidelines set by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and their employers. They are also encouraged to wear a mask indoors when their employers has not verified the vaccination status of their co-workers.

The recommendation comes on the heels of Los Angeles County issuing a new mask mandate for indoor spaces this week amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, almost exclusively among the unvaccinated, and the proliferation of the more-transmissible delta variant.

What's local journalism worth to you?

Support PleasantonWeekly.com for as little as $5/month.

Join

"The delta variant is spreading quickly, and everyone should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus," Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said in a statement.

While the Bay Area is one of the most vaccinated regions in the state and country, local health officials had recognized the potential for renewed mask requirements in recent weeks as the delta variant became more of a threat, particularly for unvaccinated people.

"The Bay Area is very, very diverse and there's hot spots, within the Bay Area, of unvaccinated populations," Marin County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora said earlier this month. "So we would expect to see, especially in more rural areas (and) consistent with other rural areas across the nation, that you'll see increased rates of cases."

The indoor masking recommendation, the county health officials said in a joint statement, is intended to help protect unvaccinated residents, who are orders of magnitude more likely right now to contract the virus and be hospitalized with serious illness.

On Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky went as far as to say the virus "is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

In Contra Costa County, the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents was 1.7 for fully vaccinated residents as of July 8 and 16.1 per 100,000 for unvaccinated residents.

"The highly infectious delta variant is now the predominant strain in Contra Costa County," Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said. "While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection."

The coalition of health officers is expected to revisit the recommendation in the coming weeks after monitoring local case and hospitalization data.

State officials have also been hesitant, for now, to re-issue mask and social distancing requirements statewide, instead deferring to local health agencies to do what they feel suits their constituents.

As of Friday, California's rate of new cases per 100,000 residents sits at 5.4.

Follow PleasantonWeekly.com and the Pleasanton Weekly on Twitter @pleasantonnews, Facebook and on Instagram @pleasantonweekly for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Stay informed on important covid news. Sign up for our FREE daily Express newsletter.

Bay Area health officers urge masking indoors regardless of vaccination, but stop short of new mandate

'Masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection'

by /

Uploaded: Fri, Jul 16, 2021, 12:44 pm
Updated: Sun, Jul 18, 2021, 12:07 pm

A coalition of Bay Area health officials urged residents across the region Friday to resume wearing a mask indoors regardless of vaccination status following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley issued the advisory "out of an abundance of caution" but have yet to issue a new masking mandate for shared indoor spaces like grocery and retail stores.

The health officials also stressed that fully vaccinated residents remain well-protected both from contracting the virus, including the currently observed variants, and from becoming seriously ill or dying.

Employees are encouraged to continue following the masking guidelines set by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and their employers. They are also encouraged to wear a mask indoors when their employers has not verified the vaccination status of their co-workers.

The recommendation comes on the heels of Los Angeles County issuing a new mask mandate for indoor spaces this week amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, almost exclusively among the unvaccinated, and the proliferation of the more-transmissible delta variant.

"The delta variant is spreading quickly, and everyone should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus," Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said in a statement.

While the Bay Area is one of the most vaccinated regions in the state and country, local health officials had recognized the potential for renewed mask requirements in recent weeks as the delta variant became more of a threat, particularly for unvaccinated people.

"The Bay Area is very, very diverse and there's hot spots, within the Bay Area, of unvaccinated populations," Marin County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Lisa Santora said earlier this month. "So we would expect to see, especially in more rural areas (and) consistent with other rural areas across the nation, that you'll see increased rates of cases."

The indoor masking recommendation, the county health officials said in a joint statement, is intended to help protect unvaccinated residents, who are orders of magnitude more likely right now to contract the virus and be hospitalized with serious illness.

On Friday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky went as far as to say the virus "is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

In Contra Costa County, the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents was 1.7 for fully vaccinated residents as of July 8 and 16.1 per 100,000 for unvaccinated residents.

"The highly infectious delta variant is now the predominant strain in Contra Costa County," Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano said. "While vaccines remain our best tool against COVID-19, masking in indoor and crowded outdoor settings will help us curb the spread of this latest wave of infection."

The coalition of health officers is expected to revisit the recommendation in the coming weeks after monitoring local case and hospitalization data.

State officials have also been hesitant, for now, to re-issue mask and social distancing requirements statewide, instead deferring to local health agencies to do what they feel suits their constituents.

As of Friday, California's rate of new cases per 100,000 residents sits at 5.4.

Comments

Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on Jul 16, 2021 at 5:47 pm
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on Jul 16, 2021 at 5:47 pm

Here we go again, why not double down on a population that has been for the most part uninformed, lazy, and compliant. After all, the Rebate vote in September is upon us, not to mention November 2022 election, and for those dates the Democrats need to insure Mail-In ballot voting to better control the outcome. Worked once, their logical is that it will work again. It’s been over a year and a half and we now have the ‘Science’ to show that the face diaper does nothing except give you rashes and higher levels of CO2. This plan is never going to go away, it works too well. Too many elites are many more money then they ever imagined. The fear porn provided by the Democrats is keeping them in power and distracting others from the truth. I know Liberals are going hate me for using the word, but here it is: May God help us all.


BobB
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2021 at 2:24 pm
BobB, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 17, 2021 at 2:24 pm

Jake Waters said:

"...does nothing except give you rashes and higher levels of CO2..."

This is wrong and this is misinformation. Pleasanton Weekly please take notice.


Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on Jul 18, 2021 at 11:35 pm
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on Jul 18, 2021 at 11:35 pm

No Bob, misinformation (manipulative language) means it opposes your talking points- doesn’t mean it’s wrong. You Democrats really love censoring people, because you fear being on the wrong side of history.


BobB
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2021 at 9:11 am
BobB, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 9:11 am

No, Jake Waters,

You are spreading falsehoods that could put people in danger. This has nothing to do with politics.


Guillermo M.
Registered user
Downtown
on Jul 19, 2021 at 10:22 am
Guillermo M., Downtown
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 10:22 am

BobB is completely correct. The only safe way for one to be in public is by wearing both an N95 mask, surgical mask AND face shield to even come close to shielding the wearer as well as those around them from spreading any possible pathogens.

Becuz it’s syense.


Rich Buckley
Registered user
Livermore
on Jul 19, 2021 at 10:56 am
Rich Buckley, Livermore
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 10:56 am

John Hopkins has public reports on new cases. Their data shows that from Jun 1, 2021 to July 15, 2021 that the European countries with the highest vaccine rates, i.e. the greatest percentage of persons in the countries that have been vaccinated, are experiencing the highest number of new cases. Web Link

One would intuitively reason that the populations with the highest percentage of vaccinated persons would experience the lowest percentage of growth in new cases. That's not what the John Hopkins report shows however.


Joe V
Registered user
Birdland
on Jul 19, 2021 at 1:35 pm
Joe V, Birdland
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 1:35 pm

Jake,
Have you forgotten that over 600K have died from Covid? And do you know that the current Delta variant spreading is more contagious?
Did you ever noticed that doctors have always wore masks while performing surgery?
Do you get all your facts from seating in front of your favorite TV news show?
I believe you need to diversified the information you are taking in on this subject, it will help you think more logically.
Covid has effected many, lives have been lost, and many have suffered financially.
All politicians have had a difficult time dealing with this unknown event that we have gone through. Informing citizens to be careful because of what current hospital stats show is ok.

Hope you are praying to your God for all of us that may need his help.
Take care of yourself and family, and don't forget to love all your neighbors!


Claudette McDermott
Registered user
Del Prado
on Jul 19, 2021 at 5:34 pm
Claudette McDermott, Del Prado
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 5:34 pm

In this article:
"State officials have also been hesitant, for now, to re-issue mask and social distancing requirements statewide, instead deferring to local health agencies to do what they feel suits their constituents."

Of course because of all the backlash they would get. It's a political hot potato because there are strong opinions on both sides.

This Delta variant makes it even more important to guard yourself against the COVID infection. For those holding out on vaccinations, for what ever reason, you may want to rethink your position.


John
Registered user
Birdland
on Jul 19, 2021 at 7:25 pm
John, Birdland
Registered user
on Jul 19, 2021 at 7:25 pm

If you want to take it take it, if not do not. It is very simple. Do your own research. The government and cdc have issued very conflicting information. Some might ever be classified as "misinformation", the new buzzword. Think for yourself and decide yourself. Let Darwin's theory do its work.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.