SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Health officials in San Francisco and six other Bay Area counties announced Monday that they are reinstating a mask mandate for all indoor settings as COVID-19 infections surge because of the highly contagious delta variant.
The new mandate — which applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status — will take effect on Tuesday in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma counties and in the city of Berkeley.
The health officers also recommended that people gather outdoors if they have that option.
“The virus doesn’t care what type of indoor space you’re in,” said Dr. George Han, deputy health officer in Santa Clara. “There is a risk that you could get in contact with the virus that causes COVID-19.”
In line with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, California last week recommended that everyone wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, but officials stopped short of requiring it.
Indoor mask mandates are already in effect in Los Angeles, Yolo and Sacramento counties.
The San Francisco Bay Area’s health officers were the first in the nation to announce a shutdown at the start of the pandemic.