County recommends everyone wear a mask indoors in public places

By Zoë Strickland, Managing Editor, SoCoNews, July 21, 2021

shopping with mask

The county of Sonoma, along with six other Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley are recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors in public places. Doing so, county officials said, will ensure that all unvaccinated people are masked in those settings, while adding an additional precautionary measure to help curb the increased spread of COVID-19.

The Delta variant, which is more transmissable than other variants of COVID-19, has been spreading throughout the state, and is listed as one of the causes of increased cases at both state and local levels.

“The Delta variant is spreading quickly, and everyone should take action to protect themselves and others against this potentially deadly virus,” said Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Sundari Mase in a statement.

While vaccinated people are protected from serious illness due to COVID-19 and its known variants, Delta included, vaccinated individuals are still being encouraged to wear masks while in stores, theaters and other indoor public places.

“​​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,” reads a statement from the county of Sonoma. “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.” 

Mase, along with the health officers from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, as well as the city of Berkeley, will revisit the recommendation in the coming weeks.

“After vaccination, masking is the next most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves and each other during this latest wave of infections,” said Mase. “Wearing masks, especially indoors and in crowded outdoor settings, will help us contain this more transmissible variant.”

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. People with only one vaccine dose of Pfizer or Moderna are not fully protected. Completion of the vaccine series is necessary to provide full protection. To find out information about where to get vaccinated, go here.

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