‘I don’t see it happening’: Fletcher says mask recommendation unlikely to become mandate

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — The leader of San Diego County’s Board of Supervisors told FOX 5 Wednesday that he does not anticipate new mask recommendations evolving into a stricter mandate on face coverings for the region, as seen recently in nearby Los Angeles.

“I don’t see it happening, again, because of our really high vaccine numbers,” Board Chair Nathan Fletcher said of a mask requirement. “We’ll follow CDC and (the California Department of Public Health) but, you know, L.A. is a different situation than we face here.”

County statistics showed 81.1% of eligible residents in San Diego had gotten at least one dose as of Wednesday, while 70% were fully vaccinated. In Los Angeles, about 71% of residents had gotten at least one dose while 62% were fully vaccinated, according to data published Monday.

Fletcher’s comments came after California’s top health agency joined the CDC in recommending — but not requiring — all people once again wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status in areas where the virus is surging, which officials say accounts for about 90% of the Golden State. San Diego actually moved one day ahead of Sacramento to align county health guidance with the CDC’s update.

In recent days, Fletcher and other local leaders have emphasized the importance of getting the COVID-19 shots and characterized a recent rise in cases as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

While so-called “breakthrough” cases in people who have gotten their shots do happen, health experts say the chance of those cases being severe is greatly reduced. Locally, 98% percent of hospitalizations in the last 30 days are in people who are not vaccinated or have not completed their two-dose vaccine, officials said Monday.

“Get a vaccine,” Fletcher said. “Trust your doctor; trust your doctor. If you don’t trust your doctor, call another doctor. But doctors are united in saying this is what you do to protect yourself and others.”

A list of local COVID-19 vaccine sites and more information is available on the county’s website.

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