The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and the City of Berkeley will lift the indoor masking requirement in public spaces not subject to state and federal masking rules when all the following occur:
- The jurisdiction reaches the moderate (yellow) COVID-19 transmission tier, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and remains there for at least three weeks
- COVID-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction are low and stable, in the judgment of the health officer
- 80% of the jurisdiction’s total population is fully vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson (booster doses not considered) OR Eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for 5- to 11-year-olds
Separately from the other Bay Area jurisdictions, San Francisco announced today a more immediate easing of masking requirements beginning on October 15 in certain, select indoor settings where stable groups of fully vaccinated people gather.
Most Bay Area health departments issued the masking requirements for their respective jurisdictions on August 3, following a summer surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. But with regional data showing that the surge is now receding, and with the Bay Area one of the most vaccinated regions in the country, the Bay Area health officers agree it is time to plan for a transition.
Lifting a local indoor mask mandate would not prevent businesses, nonprofits, churches or others with public indoor spaces from imposing their own requirements. As COVID-19 easily spreads through airborne droplets, face coverings remain highly powerful in preventing its spread.
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