Bay Area health officials release new indoor mask recommendations

California

People wear face masks to curb the spread of coronavirus during the morning rush hour at Waterloo train station in London, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Britain is bracing for acrimony on Monday, July 19 when the government lifts a legal requirement to wear face coverings in most indoor settings, including shops, trains, buses and subways. Donning a mask in many places will stop being an order and become a request. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – With cases of COVID-19 rising locally and increased circulation of the highly transmissible Delta variant, Bay Area health officials are jointly recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places.

“The Delta variant is spreading quickly, and everyone should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss.

In June the Delta variant comprised of 43% of cases in California. Nationally, the variant is responsible for 58% of new infections.

The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley, who released the statement, say fully vaccinated people are well-protected from the virus.

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“The highly infectious Delta variant is now the predominant strain in Contra Costa County,” said Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano. “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.”

Bay Area Health Officers will revisit this recommendation in the coming weeks as they continue to monitor transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths, and increasing vaccination rates throughout the region.

Solano and Napa Counties are continuing to follow state recommendations.

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