Bay Area health officials to announce criteria for lifting regional mask mandates Thursday – KGO-TV

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) — With COVID case rates on the decline, many wonder how long we’ll have to keep our facemasks on. Thursday, Bay Area health officers are expected to announce plans for a possible end to the region’s indoor masking mandate but the order may not end overnight.

“It’s time, it’s been 18 months,” said Adam Kovacks.

Kovacks says you’re working out at his Novato gym Sonoma Fit, you must still wear a mask, that’s not always easy, he hopes that mandate ends soon.

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“If you’re still worried, wear your mask but it’s time we put the responsibility on the people, not small business,” said Kovacks.

Bay Area health officials could announce new criteria on Thursday, for easing COVID restrictions like indoor masking. That criteria may include vaccination rates, case rates and hospitalizations. Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody told supervisors, the numbers are improving.

“The plan is to develop a set of metrics we can share across the region in order to lift indoor masking, we’re getting very close,” said Cody.

Many in the Bay Area are hoping for a target date, when wearing a mask isn’t required.

RELATED: Los Angeles passes one of the strictest COVID vaccine mandates in the US

It’s hard to breathe with the masks on,” said Jesse Tassey from Novato.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf told ABC7 News on Midday, she trusts health officers but will keep wearing her mask.

“Rule or no rule, I’ll keep wearing my mask inside restaurants, better safe than sorry,” said Schaaf.

San Mateo County officials say although vaccination rates are high it’s too early to lift masking rules.

“We know one thing is certain, COVID-19 is uncertain. I wouldn’t be surprised if two months from now, if mask orders are lifted we may be back to another mandate,” said San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa.

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