SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A surge in coronavirus cases across the United States – driven by the more contagious delta variant – prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to again recommend mask wearing in indoor settings for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) quickly followed suit from the CDC by recommending Californians to mask up indoors, too.
But while federal and state health officials’ guidance is on a voluntary basis, some California counties are mandating its residents to wear masks again – led by Los Angeles County, which reinstituted its mask mandate on July 18.
Here are what several Northern California health departments have decided on with mask requirements through July 29, 2021:
The Sacramento County Public Health Department issued a mask mandate on July 29, requiring everyone to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
The decision to reimpose the mandate was made as Sacramento County's daily case rate of COVID-19 rose drastically from 5.2 to 18.3 in the span of almost a month.
“The continued increase in cases is concerning - universal indoor use of masks, is the least disruptive and most immediately impactful measure to take to slow the rate of transmission,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Olivia Kasirye said in the press release.
Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson issued an indoor masking mandate at a Tuesday, July 27 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Yolo County's mask order, issued on the same day the CDC handed down its recommendation, goes into effect on Friday, July 30. The vaccination rate in Yolo County sits at about 52%.
The new order is set to remain in effect until the case rate falls below 2.0 per 100,000 residents for 7 consecutive days, according to a press release from the county.
"The mask mandate is the least disruptive and the masking mandate has no economical effect on the local economy and will allow businesses to stay open. It will have the most immediate impact on Yolo County residents," Dr. Sisson said at the board meeting.
San Joaquin County
The is no mask mandate for fully-vaccinated individuals in San Joaquin County, outside of settings where everyone is required to wear masks like on public transportation, in hospitals, schools, and more.
Those who are unvaccinated are still required to wear masks in all indoor settings.
San Joaquin County has had a 7.0% test positivity rate and is averaging about 14.5 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents over the last 7 days. County health officials continue to push for more vaccinations among residents.
The is no mask mandate for fully-vaccinated individuals in Stanislaus County.
Although the county health website says “all residents are mandated to follow CDPH for the Use of Face Coverings,” health officials have not issued a statement on masks since the state issued its recommendation.
Residents must still abide by universal masking requirements in which all people must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Those settings include settings like the use of public transportation, in health care facilities or schools, etc.
Stanislaus County has had an 8.4% test positivity rate and is averaging about 13.4 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents over the last 7 days. Vaccination clinics in the county are still being held without the need for making an appointment.
Placer County does not have a mask mandate in place, although the county health department says it aligns with state guidance.
On July 22, county health officials said COVID hospitalizations had more than doubled in the month of July.
“The delta variant is easier to catch, yet vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization & death,” health officials said.
Placer County has had a 7.9% test positivity rate and is averaging about 12.5 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents over the last 7 days.
Health officials in Nevada County are recommending all residents to mask up indoors in public settings, regardless of vaccination status.
“The recommendation for everyone to resume masking indoors and to get tested after an exposure is a prudent measure to slow the spread of the Delta variant,” Health Officer Dr. Scott Kellermann said.
The county linked business owners to updated signage they may post on the front doors of their buildings. The signs read “Face coverings are required for all unvaccinated individuals. Face coverings are strongly recommended indoors for all vaccinated customers and staff.”
Nevada County has had a 9.2% test positivity rate and is averaging about 16.1 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents over the last 7 days.