Santa Clara Co. joins rest of Bay Area in dropping indoor mask mandate; boosters not required

Health officer says masks still recommended indoors; Per state rules, masks must still be worn on public transportation, schools
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Masks are now optional in Santa Clara County. The county joined the rest of the Bay Area Wednesday in relaxing the mask rules.

There were some happy people at 24 Hour Fitness in San Jose.

"I am happy about it. I feel good about it. I get to work out and not suffocate," said Daniel Gonzalez.

RELATED: San Jose, Santa Clara Co. loosen health orders, drop indoor masking and booster mandates

The general manager says there has been a lot of anticipation among his members leading up to this day.

"They talk about it every day. They ask about it every day. They have been waiting for this day for a long time. We are seeing masks being thrown in the air like graduation hats because everybody has been so excited to take their masks off," said Dwayne Jones.

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The county health officer says masks are still recommended indoors, and there were still plenty of people working out and shopping at the grocery store in masks.

"It makes me feel more comfortable because I don't know other peoples' status, whether they are vaccinated or not. It makes me feel more at ease a bit. Plus, I haven't had a cold or flu in two years, so something is working," said San Jose resident Neil Tiwari as he headed in to a Whole Foods Market with a mask on.

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The San Jose City council also voted to eliminate another COVID restriction: the booster requirement. A booster shot will no longer be required for a large event like a concert or professional game.

Brandon Fortunati of Santa Clara said while he is boosted, he doesn't have a problem with that requirement being dropped at this time.

RELATED: Santa Clara Co. meets metrics to remove indoor mask mandate, set to change to recommendation March 2

"I think it is time for us to gradually get back to being normal and things being normal again."

Per state rules, masks must still be worn on public transportation, in schools and in other high-risk areas.

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