California County Imposing Mask Mandate in Private Homes Amid Virus Surge Worries

California County Imposing Mask Mandate in Private Homes Amid Virus Surge Worries California County Imposing Mask Mandate in Private Homes Amid Virus Surge Worries (Dreamstime.com)

By Fran Beyer | Tuesday, 23 November 2021 05:51 PM

A California county is reportedly imposing an indoor mask mandate requiring residents to wear face coverings in private settings, including homes, regardless of vaccination status.

ABC affiliate KGO in San Francisco reported Tuesday the mask mandate for Santa Cruz County is now in effect, and covers private settings like a home.

"If you are getting together with others who don't live in the same household the county says you should mask up regardless of vaccination status," the guidance states, the news outlet reported.

Businesses are also required to follow the guidelines, though they may be taken off when eating or drinking, the news outlet noted.

"Unfortunately, a potential winter surge appears to be a significant threat to the health and safety of our community," Dr. Gail Newel, Santa Cruz County’s health officer, said in a statement, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Chronicle noted COVID-19 rates in the Bay Area are not as high as the spikes seen in July and August, though officials fear waning immunity and the people getting together for the holidays and winter months could lead to a new surge.

Most San Francisco Bay Area counties were among the first in California to reinstate mask mandates in early August amid a surge in delta variant cases, the Chronicle noted, but universal masking was never re-implemented statewide.

As of Nov. 21, Santa Cruz County reported a seven-day average of 71 cases per 100,000 people, putting it in a "substantial" transmission category, the news outlet noted.

But further south in Monterey County, officials are going in the opposite direction, voting last week to drop the indoor mask mandate there,.

Local administrators said the tracking indicated lower infection rates, the Monterey Herald reported.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., got heat for being photographed maskless in a crowded ballroom during a wedding in San Francisco in early November.