When will Contra Costa lift indoor masking requirements? Agreement reached

Contra Costa health officials issue order requiring face coverings indoors

Contra Costa health officials issue order requiring face coverings indoors
Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley indoor masking orders take effect Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2021. (Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash.com)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (August 2, 2021) — Vaccination continues to protect against severe COVID-19 illness. However, the COVID-19 Delta variant now has infected a small percentage of vaccinated people as well as many unvaccinated people.

In response, eight Bay Area health officers, including Contra Costa County, have issued health orders requiring masks indoors in public places.

The orders require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings. With limited exceptions, the orders take effect starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Vaccines remain the most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Nonetheless, the Delta variant is infecting a small percentage of the vaccinated in the Bay Area — who still remain strongly protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Preventing the spread

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.

“We must act now to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. If you are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine and have not yet done so, please do not wait any longer,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa. “During July the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in our county increased 400%. Four out of five of the COVID patients we see are not vaccinated, even though only one out of five Contra Costa adults are not vaccinated.”

These health orders aim to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 and protect everyone. Health officials have concerns about the substantial levels of community transmission now found across the Bay Area. In part, the increases come from the widespread COVID-19 Delta variant. This variant has shown substantially higher transmission than previous forms of the virus.

Recent information from the CDC also indicates that even fully vaccinated individuals can spread the Delta variant to others. Therefore,  indoor use of face coverings provides an important added layer of protection.

Higher risk

The new Health Orders require wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public settings. Indoor settings, whether public or private, are higher risk for COVID-19 transmission, especially when you are with people you do not live with. 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.

Today’s Health Orders remain consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also complies with California Department of Public Health guidance, which recommend that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks while in indoor public settings. Bay Area Health Officers will continue to monitor data. This includes watching increased vaccination throughout the region, to determine when they can adjust or life the orders.

For more information about COVID-19, and how to get a free vaccine near you, visit cchealth.org/coronavirus.