YOLO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — Yolo County’s public health officer announced a mask mandate will go into effect starting Friday requiring everyone to wear masks in public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Earlier this month, Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson began urging all residents to wear masks while in indoor, public spaces.
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversing course Tuesday, recommending that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the country where the coronavirus is surging, Yolo County’s mandate comes as the county records an eight-fold increase in its COVID-19 case rate amidst a fourth surge.
“We are not done with this COVID pandemic,” Sisson told FOX40 Tuesday. “We’re taking it to that next level of requirement so that it really becomes universal masking and it’s easy to enforce because you can tell everybody needs to be wearing a mask, not just the unvaccinated.”
The new mandate will go into effect Friday and remain until the county’s case rate falls below 2.0 per 100,000 residents for an entire week.
“I think we all want to get back to normal. I want to get back to normal as much as the next person, but the reality is that our cases are increasing right now and it’s simply not safe for people, particularly those who are unvaccinated but even for the vaccinated, to be in indoor settings without wearing masks,” Sisson said.
She said the decision was partly in response to the highly contagious delta variant with Yolo County recording 150 cases of the virus strain, 26 of whom were fully vaccinated.
“We are concerned, particularly with the delta variant that we’re seeing fully vaccinated people who are getting infected, primarily mild disease but we think that those people are infectious enough that they can transmit the disease to others,” Sisson explained.
Last week, the University of California, Davis and Yolo County officials reported the delta variant made up 88% of positive COVID-19 samples collected in the county.
“Hopefully this order will help get our case rate under control so that we can repeal the mask requirement and we can go back to that sense of normal that we all so desperately want,” Sisson said.
FOX40 reached out to all seven local counties with a high rate of community transmission:
- Sacramento County
- Sutter County
- Yuba County
- Nevada County
- Solano County
- Stanislaus County
- Plumas County
Solano and Sacramento counties were the only ones to respond Tuesday with the following statements:
Solano County Public Health and the state monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we will continue to align with state recommendations. We are following emerging data and science, and we will adjust our approach as needed. Solano County encourages concerned community members to wear masks indoors if they are unsure of the vaccination status of those they are interacting with for prolonged periods or the unvaccinated.
The vast majority of cases continue to report being at parties, barbeques, picnics, and similar events at people’s homes or on camping outings, and cases have mainly been younger (in their 20s to 40s) and unvaccinated. Adding restrictions on businesses does not align with our data since the virus spread is predominantly happening at home and in private social settings and not in businesses. Solano Public Health will continue to monitor the situation and remove barriers to vaccination by focusing on under-resourced neighborhoods and individuals with access issues by working with community partners.
We encourage all residents to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, and Solano County Public Health social distancing best practices. Practice coughing and sneezing etiquette, use hand sanitizer or wash your hands for at least 20-seconds, and stay at home if you are not feeling well. In settings where fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people may be present, the use of face masks will reduce the risk to individuals who are not fully vaccinated.Solano County Health & Social Services
There has not been a change to the current mask recommendation, we are awaiting additional guidance from the State.Samantha Mott, Sacramento County Public Information Officer