Bay Area counties recommend indoor mask wearing, even if vaccinated

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley are recommending masking indoors for everyone as a precaution against the increased circulation of COVID-19.

Officials say that out of an abundance of caution, people are recommended to wear masks indoors in settings like grocery or retail stores, theaters, and family entertainment centers, even if they are fully vaccinated. Businesses are urged to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses. Health officials say workplaces must comply with Cal/OSHA requirements and fully vaccinated employees are encouraged to wear masks indoors if their employer has not confirmed the vaccination status of those around them.

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

The group that put together this announcement is referred to as the Bay Area Coalition. Which you may remember was a term used back in the beginning days of the pandemic where Bay Area health departments came together to coordinate their regulations on things like masking, business restrictions, etc. But that group eventually dissolved - when individual counties started acting independently and we gained the colored-tiered system.

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While this guidance isn't mandating masking like health officials in Los Angeles County -- we're hearing reports from several counties like Marin already reporting an uptick in cases. Not to mention vaccination rates as a state have slowed significantly in the past month. Sitting still around 60% of Californians vaccinated with at least one dose.

In June, the Delta variants comprised 43% of all cases in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that Delta variants are now responsible for 58% of new infections across the country.

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