San Francisco Eases Mask Mandate for 'Fully Boosted' Individuals (Dreamstime)
By Charles Kim | Saturday, 29 January 2022 02:27 PM
People that are "fully boosted" will no longer be required to wear masks indoors starting Feb. 1 in San Fransisco the city announced Thursday.
"As we come out of this latest surge and face a future in which COVID-19 will remain among us, San Francisco will take a balanced approach in our response to COVID-19 by aligning with state requirements and guidelines where we can do so safely," Health Officer, Dr. Susan Philip said in a press release by the city. "We also acknowledge areas where we can, San Francisco can, be further ahead in easing restrictions, such as the indoor mask exemption for stable cohorts, given our highly vaccinated and boosted population.
"We will do so carefully and by following our local data and the science, as there are still San Franciscans who are medically vulnerable to the disease and communities that remain highly impacted when case rates are high."
According to the release, the city is easing the restrictions due to a rapid drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases.
"With 82% of our residents fully vaccinated, we are once again at a place where we can ease the mask requirements," Mayor London Breed posted on Twitter on Thursday.
The City defines the "stable cohort" as a person that is "up to date" with vaccinations including the primary one or two doses of the three available vaccines and a booster shot for those eligible.
While the mask mandate is being eased, other restrictions will remain in place, and mask mandates will continue for those unvaccinated and those who provide a negative test, according to the city.
People can now enter venues of 500 or more with proof of a negative test, or being fully vaccinated, but are still required to wear a mask.
The city is also allowing medical and religious exemptions to the vaccine with proof of a negative COVID tests in venues like bars, gyms, and other locations where food and drink are provided and are venues that people have elevated breathing.
"These changes also begin Feb. 1," the release said. "The public should be mindful that people in some settings may not be fully vaccinated or boosted and so should use good judgment when attending gatherings or events."
The city is also extending the deadline from Feb. 1 to March 1 for personnel in "high-risk" settings to get vaccinated or boosted if eligible to align with state requirements, the release said.