San Francisco, neighboring counties are reinstating the masks mandate amid Delta variant issues

A bartender takes beverage orders at the Oasis in San Francisco, California on July 29, 2021.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Health officials in seven Northern California counties on Monday mandated the use of masks in public places indoors, making a face cover recommendation they issued in July a requirement.

The coalition of officials – from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Sonoma Counties, and the city of Berkeley – first advised residents to use masks indoors a little over two weeks ago, regardless of their vaccination status wear. Citing an increase in cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant, the new mandate will take effect on Tuesday.

“Indoor masking is a temporary measure that will help us deal with the Delta variant, which is causing a sharp rise in cases, and we know the number of hospitalizations and deaths will increase,” said Dr. Naveena Bobba, assistant health officer of San Francisco, in a statement.

According to the CDC, Contra Costa County recorded 2,723 new cases in the past seven days, up 53% from the previous week. The total number of cases in Sonoma County rose 58% with 684 new coronavirus patients in the past week.

San Francisco County reported 1,513 additional cases last week, 47% more than the previous seven days. Marin, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties rose between 33% and 41% each last week, while the 2,385 new cases in Alameda County last week represented an 11% increase from the previous week.

The mask mandate comes after Los Angeles County responded to the rising total numbers of coronavirus cases by reinstating its mask mandate on July 17 clientele.

“When we all wear face covers indoors, we protect our roommates and help our healthcare workers,” said Bobba.

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