San Francisco, CA

San Francisco joining other Bay Area Counties with new mask recommendations to help fight COVID-19

Ed Walsh

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San Francisco joins other Bay Area Counties with new mask recommendations to fight COVID-19Ed Walsh

Citing an increase in cases of COVID-19 and the highly transmissible Delta variant, San Francisco is joining with the counties the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley recommend that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places to ensure easy verification that all unvaccinated people are masked in those settings and as an extra precautionary measure for all.

In the month of June, the Delta variants made up 43 percent of all tested specimens found in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that Delta variants are now responsible for 58 percent of new infections across the country. Health officials say fully vaccinated people are well-protected from infections and serious illness due to known COVID-19 variants including Delta variants, and vaccinating as many people as possible, as soon as possible, continues to be the best defense against severe COVID-19 infection, and the harm it can do to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Health officials note that vaccines are safe, effective, free, and widely available to everyone 12 and older. On Friday, out of what officials say is 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 as an added layer of protection for unvaccinated residents.

San Francisco Bay Area health officials say businesses are urged to adopt universal masking requirements for customers entering indoor areas of their businesses to provide better protection to their employees and customers. 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.

“We are asking our residents to collectively come together again in this effort to stem the rising cases until we can assess how our hospital capacity will be impacted,” said San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip.

Bay Area Health Officers say 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 latest data can be monitored here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-datatracker/#county-view.

"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.

Health officials caution that for masks to work properly, they need to completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of your face and around your nose. Officials not that people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Officials also caution that people with only one vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna not fully protected. Completion of the vaccine series is necessary to provide full protection. Visit sf.gov/getvaccinated to learn where you can find a vaccination site near you or call 628- 652-2700 to book an appointment, find a drop-in site, or if you have questions about the vaccine.

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