Bay Area health officials release new indoor mask recommendations


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 and Sonoma, and the city of Berkeley — which released the statement — say fully vaccinated people are well-protected from the virus.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two 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 the 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.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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