Twelve Bay Area health officers are stressing the importance of taking safety precautions, including continued masking indoors, as the region experiences a new swell of COVID cases and hospitalizations.

The Bay Area now has California’s highest COVID infection rates. The current wave is fueled by highly
contagious Omicron subvariants. Bay Area counties are seeing increases in reported cases, levels of virus in
sewer sheds, and hospitalizations. Actual case rates are higher than those reported because of widespread
use of home tests.

These health officers reiterate their continued, strong support for people to mask up indoors, keep tests
handy, and ensure they are up to date on vaccinations by getting boosters when eligible.

The grim milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID in the United States underscores the need for continued
vigilance against the virus.

Although not required, masking is strongly recommended by the California Department of Public Health for
most public indoor settings, and health officials say wearing higher-quality masks (N95/KN95 or snug-fitting
surgical masks) indoors is a wise choice that will help people protect their health. Vaccines remain the best
protection against severe disease and death from COVID.

Health officials say people should also stay home if they feel sick and get tested right away. Officials also
encourage getting tested after potential exposure and limiting large gatherings to well ventilated spaces or

For people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 infection, medications are available that can
reduce your chances of severe illness and death. Talk with your healthcare provider right away if you test
positive or visit for more information about eligibility and
finding a treatment location near you.

Read the full press release.