#MaskUp, ya’ll. The recommendation to wear a mask in indoor public spaces is back to being a mandate.
Marin County Public Health officials once again locked arms with their fellow Bay Area public health officers to require masks indoors in public places, regardless of vaccination status, starting at 12:01am on Tuesday, August 3.
“While most COVID-19 exposures in Marin are due to household transmission and gatherings in non-public indoor settings, we’ve also seen a significant increase of clusters of COVID-19 cases, among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, in public settings including outdoor and indoor events and performances where masks were not worn by vaccinated persons,” Dr. Lisa Santora, Marin County’s Deputy Public Health Officer, said in a statement.
Marin is joined in the mandate by the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley.
Health officers said that while vaccination continues to protect against severe COVID-19 illness, the COVID-19 Delta variant is now infecting a small percentage of vaccinated people as well as many unvaccinated people. In those instances of infection in a vaccinated person, a face covering prevents further spread. Bay Area health officials urge all unvaccinated residents 12 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Health officials said they are very concerned by the substantial levels of community transmission now found across the Bay Area, especially among unvaccinated people. In part, this is due to the widespread COVID-19 Delta variant, which is substantially more transmissible than previous forms of the virus.
Health officials also recommend that all employers make face coverings available to individuals entering their businesses, and businesses are required to implement the indoor face covering order.
“Masking and vaccinations are the most important tools we have to end the pandemic,” added Santora. “The vaccine is safe, effective, free and widely available. We encourage all residents to do their part in wearing their masks to keep themselves, their families and their community safe. This is a short term, evidenced-based strategy to help keep our businesses open and support a safe reopening of schools.”
Willis’ agency last month reported the first COVID-19 death of a county resident since mid-May. The resident had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and died July 21. It was the 186th death in Marin during the pandemic, all of which have patents who had not been vaccinated.
“It’s especially hard to see people dying from COVID-19 when we know how preventable it is,” said Willis said. “We’re sharing this so our community sees it’s not safe to be unvaccinated.”