Santa Rosa, THATOctober 7, 2021 Because the decision to vaccinate and wear face coverings indoors reduces COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, health officials in nine Bay Area jurisdictions require face coverings in most areas. Most indoor public spaces today have reached a consensus on the criteria for lifting those health orders.

These health care workers continue to work together across the Bay Area to protect public health with a consistent regional approach and plan for the next phase of COVID-19 response as the wave emerges. this pandemic outbreak.

Nine jurisdictions will lift indoor mask requirements in public spaces that do not follow state mask rules when all of the following occur:

● The jurisdiction has reached moderate transmission of COVID-19 (yellow), as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and remains there for at least three weeks; AND

● COVID-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction are low and stable, as assessed by medical staff; AND

● 80% of the total population of the jurisdiction is fully immunized with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson (not counting booster doses) OR eight weeks have passed since the COVID-19 vaccine federally authorized emergency use and government agencies for children ages 5 to 11

Most Bay Area health departments issued mask requirements for their respective jurisdictions on August 3, following a summer spike in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. death.

But with regional data showing that the increase is now dwindling, and with the Bay Area one of the most vaccinated areas in the country, Health Workers from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa counties , San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara Sonoma, and the City of Berkeley agree that it’s time to plan a transition.

A local indoor respirator upgrade will not prevent businesses, nonprofits, churches, or others with indoor public spaces from imposing their own requirements. Because COVID-19 spreads easily through airborne droplets, face coverings are still very effective in preventing its spread.

Each jurisdiction will rescind its order when the criteria are met in that respective county or city. The criteria were developed to assist in determining the safest time to lift indoor mask orders, based on regional medical and scientific consensus. The criteria also provide safety for school children, ages 5-11, who need extra mask protection in the community to keep case rates low so they can continue. school until immunized.

“It is no coincidence that transmission rates are slowing down in Sonoma County. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County health officer, said public health interventions, including the requirement to wear a mask, are working. “We believe health orders, along with vaccinations, outreach, and education are all adding layers of protection against COVID-19 in our communities – and saving lives.”

California’s health guidance for face coverings will remain in effect after local mask requirements are lifted, meaning those who have not been fully immunized against COVID-19 must continue. Wear masks in businesses and indoor public spaces.

The state also requires face coverings for everyone, regardless of immunization status, in health care facilities, public transit, and adult and aged care facilities. California’s mask-wearing guidelines in K-12 schools will also be unaffected by changes to local health orders.

An FDA advisory committee is expected to review Pfizer-BioNTech’s application to authorize emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old on October 26.

Visit SoCoEmergency.org for local information on COVID-19 and Sonoma County’s emergency response to the pandemic.

Communications:

Matt Brown, Communications Specialist

Media: Matt.Brown@sonoma-county.org

Vehicle: 707-565-3040

575 Drive Administration, Suite 104A

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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