SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Statewide mask requirements are disappearing in all indoor places, including those with lots of visitors and employees such as prisons and homeless shelters.

The California Department of Public Health’s guidance now aligns with United States Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance for when COVID-19 cases are low.

State health officials do strongly recommend those who are at high risk of severe illness to continue wearing masks in crowded indoor facilities.

The state health department continues to require the use of a mask in healthcare and long-term care facilities.

Marin and Sonoma counties are the only two in the Bay Area with medium transmission levels of the COVID virus. The rest are at a low level of transmission. 

BART is lifting its mask mandate effective Oct. 1.

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It is still recommended by the transit agency to wear a mask, especially when trains gets crowded. 

The only way the mask mandate will come back on BART is if we see a spike in cases or the counties BART serves reinstate an indoor mask mandate. 

University of California, San Francisco infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin Hong said now is the right time to ease mask requirements. 

“I know it’s going to be a big transition for a lot of people,” he said. “It doesn’t mean people won’t get infected, but we don’t expect a lot of people to get infected and you can just carry around your mask in your pocket, just like people bring an umbrella with them in case it rains.”