Despite having 85% of Marin County residents over the age of 12 fully vaccinated, we all got a stark reminder Friday that we are far from out of the COVID-19 woods. 

Out of an abundance of caution and citing the uptick of social activity in the aftermath of the June 15th statewide reopening and the July 4th holiday weekend, but in particular the continued surge of the delta variant strain of the coronavirus, Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis locked arms with six of his fellow Bay Area counties in making a strong recommendation for everyone to wear a mask in indoor settings going forward.

If you’ve been following our case counts you know that COVID-19 is making a resurgence in our county,” Willis said in a statement. “We’ve gone from having less than 1 to 4.4 cases per 100,000 residents per day, and this is consistent with the pattern we’ve seen across the county, region and state. The trend is concerning, and the delta variant is the more concerning contributor.”

Willis said he and his public health colleagues needs to buy time to learn more about infectivity among people who are vaccinated.

“There is a concern that if vaccinated individuals are infectious to others and not covering their faces, they could be transmitting to unvaccinated people who are vulnerable to serious illness.”

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

Willis said the good news is vaccines are protecting vaccinated individuals from serious illness.

“Of the 137 breakthrough cases we’ve seen in Marin, only two have been hospitalized and none have died,” he said.

The new recommendation is just the latest reminder that though we are proud of our county’s extremely high vaccination rate and the incredible efforts our businesses and nonprofits have made over the past 16 months to keep their customers and employees safe, this is just the latest reminder that we are so very far from being out of the woods, both economically and from a health and safety standpoint.

Workplaces are required to comply with Cal/OSHA requirements regarding masking. Fully vaccinated employees are advised to wear masks indoors if their employer has not confirmed the vaccination status of those around them.


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