SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — California will lift its statewide indoor mask mandate, which was enacted in January, on Feb. 15. However, the state has given counties the option to keep mandates in their respective areas.
All nine Bay Area counties — except Santa Clara County — are expected to lift an indoor mask mandate starting Feb. 16.
“This is the moment to celebrate the amazing work everyone has done together and we have now the ability to take this step forward,” San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip said.
The eight counties lifting those mandates are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, and Sonoma.
Outside of the Bay Area, nearby Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties will also lift their indoor mask mandates, according to Alameda County Public Health Department.
“It’s very clear the cases are coming down very quickly, the hospitalizations have peeked are coming down and individual cases of omicron were not as severe as the previous variant so that was part of the thinking. The other piece was where are we with vax and booster, we are 84% vaxed in San Francisco, and 64% of those vaxed are boosted,” Dr. Philip said.
The mandate only applies to those who are vaccinated — unvaccinated people are required to wear masks in all indoor public settings.
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is still required to wear masks in public transportation settings, health care centers, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, long-term care facilities, K-12 schools, and childcare settings, Bay Area health officials said.