Bay Area Health Officers Announce New Health Orders for Indoor Masking
At a joint press conference Monday, eight Bay Area county public health officers, including Sonoma County, announced a new indoor mask Health Order to take effect immediately on Tuesday, August 3. The Health Orders are meant to slow transmission of the new COVID-19 Delta variant, reopen schools safely and keep students in the classroom this year, and keep businesses operational.
Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that even fully vaccinated individuals can in some cases spread the Delta variant to others, and so indoor use of face coverings provides an important added layer of protection. COVID-19 vaccination continues to protect against severe illness.
Please note the following important guidelines that SCOE will be following in response to the health order:
- All SCOE employees and visitors to SCOE buildings must wear face coverings when indoors, regardless of vaccination status
- Any visitors to SCOE must have a face covering to enter the building.
- Individuals are not required to wear face coverings in the following circumstances:
- Persons who are working alone in a closed office or room; (at SCOE, a cubicle that is spaced at least six feet from other workspaces and partitioned with plexiglass qualifies as a “closed office/room” where masks do not need to be worn
- Persons who are actively eating and/or drinking;
- Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings pursuant to other CDPH guidance.
Appropriate masks include surgical masks and cloth masks. Neck gaiters are not an appropriate facial covering to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Additional Safety Measures
SCOE Employees can get tested onsite and are encouraged to sign up for their test in advance. Testing dates can be found here. Unvaccinated SCOE employees are highly encouraged to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is effective, free and widely available. For information on local vaccination clinics, visit SoCoEmergency.org/vaccine.
In Sonoma County, unvaccinated individuals have a six times higher case rate than vaccinated individuals. 86% of hospitalizations in Sonoma County are unvaccinated individuals. There are zero vaccinated individuals who have been admitted to the intensive care unit. 95% of Sonoma County cases are the Delta variant, which is 60% more contagious than previous variants.
You can read Sonoma County’s Health Order at: socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/health-orders/