MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Masks are no longer required for some people in Stanislaus County.
County Health Services lifted the order issued in September after the county dropped below the threshold of 20 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
“We are very happy that the numbers are going down, but we still want to encourage people as much as possible to continue following prevention methods so we can make sure that going into the winter, into flu season, that our hospitals are not overwhelmed,” explained Stanislaus County Health Services Agency spokeswoman Elizabeth McCuistion.
Lifting the mask order means those who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear a mask indoors in most locations.
There are still some exceptions. Under California Department of Public Health guidelines, everyone is still required to mask up in health care facilities, on public transportation and in K-12 schools.
“Anyone who is unvaccinated should be wearing a mask in all public settings,” McCuistion said.
But Modesto resident Andrea Carranza questioned the county’s decision to drop its mask mandate heading into the winter season.
“I think that with the holidays coming up, I think it’d be a smarter move to be more precautious,” Carranza said. “I’m personally vaccinated, but I will still be wearing my mask.”
With the holidays fast approaching, county health services said they’re expecting the community to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re encouraging everybody who is unvaccinated to get vaccinated, especially as we’re going into the winter months,” McCuistion said.
County public health officials said they are keeping an eye on the numbers and the mask mandate could be reinstated if hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases again.
“Celebrate safely this holiday season. Our numbers have been going down, so we want to ensure that they continue going down, McCuistion advised.