Health officials urge indoor mask-wearing

Bay Area

BENICIA, Calif. (KRON) – Just a day after the CDC recommended returning to indoor mask-wearing, regardless of vaccination status, California state health officials are now following suit. 

The move comes as the COVID-19 delta variant continues to spread.

State health officials say that more than 90-percent of Californians live in areas of substantial or high risk of COVID transmission. 

Although nearly all Bay Area counties adopted the mask guidance nearly two weeks ago, Solano County, which is a high-risk area for COVID transmission, has not followed suit just yet.

Health experts say vaccines are the most important defense against the delta variant but returning to masks at indoor public settings, especially in high transmission areas like Solano County will bring the infection rate down.

Some businesses say they’re going to leave it up to the people to decide while others say they’ll follow the state guidance.

Indoor mask-wearing is once again being recommended by state health officials to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Parts of the Bay Area, like Solano County, are right now facing “substantial” or “high” community transmission of the virus.

“The delta variant has changed the equation and cases are going up and they have been going up for some weeks,” Dr. Michael Stacey said.

Dr. Michael Stacey is a public health specialist. 

He says the most important thing for people to do is get vaccinated but as Solano County and other parts of the Bay Area see infections going up, it’s important for everyone to mask up.

“It makes a lot of sense to go back to wearing masks more frequently while there’s a lot of delta variants in the Bay Area.”

Some businesses in Benicia, like “The Loft” Wine Bar & Restaurant, say they’ll leave the indoor masking decision up to their employees and their customers.

“We’re not going to be making any changes. I’ve always believed in letting people make their own choices when it comes to their health. We’re going to continue to let people make their own choices,” Jason Diavatis, restaurant owner, said.  

Other places, like “The Chill,” and some of their customers plan to follow the guidance and return to wearing masks indoors.

“I think it’s pertinent to stop the spread of the virus no matter what variation it happens to be. It needs to be done,” Bill Groves said.

”We really just want this to be over with. We’re willing to partake in whatever the CDC suggests just so we can beat this pandemic and be back to normal hopefully,” Jane Uggla, bartender, said.

The mask recommendation is for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people leaving some a little confused about the new guidance.

“If the masks are working, how come they’re not working? If the social distancing is not working, how come it’s not working? Let’s have some truths on it.”

“This is the right thing to do to protect ourselves and to protect our friends, families, and neighbors.”

KRON4 reached out to the Solano County Health Department to see if there are plans on adopting the new mask guidance here locally but as of this report, there has been no response.

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