Vaccination continues to protect against severe COVID-19 illness, but with the COVID-19 Delta variant now infecting a small percentage of vaccinated people as well as many unvaccinated people, eight Bay Area health officers have issued Health Orders requiring masks indoors in public places. The Orders require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear face coverings when indoors in public settings, with limited exceptions, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, August 3rd.

Vaccines remain the most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Nonetheless, the Delta variant is infecting a small percentage of the vaccinated in the Bay Area — who still remain strongly protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. In those instances of infection in a vaccinated person, a face covering prevents further spread. Bay Area health officials urge all unvaccinated residents 12 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

These Health Orders aim to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 and protect everyone. Health officials are very concerned by the substantial levels of community transmission now found across the Bay Area, especially among unvaccinated people. In part, this is due to the widespread COVID-19 Delta variant, which is substantially more transmissible than previous forms of the virus. Recent information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also 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.

The Alameda County Order directs that face coverings be worn over the mouth and nose in indoor public settings by all residents, with some exceptions, similar to statewide face covering requirements for unvaccinated residents. For more details see the Order here: https://covid19.acgov.org/face-masks.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and FREE for everyone 12 and older. CLICK HERE to learn where you can find a vaccination site near you or call 510-208-4VAX (510-208-4829). If you missed your second dose, you should still complete your vaccination series.

Read the full press release.

Please check back on the Alameda County Public Health Department’s dedicated COVID-19 website for updates and clarifications: https://covid-19.acgov.org/