Health Care

Some indoor mask mandates to end in San Francisco Bay Area

Some indoor mask mandates in the San Francisco Bay Area will be ending in the upcoming weeks as long as areas meet the criteria Bay Area health officials set Thursday.

Nine Bay Area jurisdictions announced Thursday if an area meets three criteria, they can list mask requirements in most indoor spaces.

The requirements include remaining in a yellow COVID-19 transmission tier defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for three weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations staying low and stable and 80 percent of the area’s total population, regardless of if all qualify for the vaccine, being fully vaccinated.

The last criteria for 80 percent of the population vaccinated can be bypassed once vaccines have been approved for ages five and older for eight weeks. 

The counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and the City of Berkeley have all agreed to the conditions.

“Indoor masking has been an important part of our defense against the virus and helped us get through the most recent surge while keeping businesses open and bringing children back to school,” San Francisco Health Officer, Dr. Susan Philip said.

“We recognize that now is the time to begin taking steps toward easing some of the masking requirements in safer settings and planning for when we can safely lift them more broadly,” Philip added.

Along with the announcement, Mayor London Breed and the San Francisco Department of Public Health said some indoor masking requirements will be lifted on Oct. 15 as long as hospitalization rates stay low. 

The requirements will be lifted in “offices, gyms, and fitness centers, employee commuter vehicles, religious gatherings, and indoor college classes or other organized gatherings of individuals who meet regularly, not exceeding 100 people.”

Other areas have not announced when they will lift requirements with some needing to reach the vaccination or hospitalization criteria. 

Tags face mask mandate San Francisco

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