mask mandate

Counties Allowing Vaccinated Individuals to Go Maskless Can Keep Doing So: Health Officials

Shifting course: Gyms, offices and churches in SF, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma can let people go maskless

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A day after health leaders decided to reinstitute a statewide indoor mask mandate for everyone, they shifted course. 

California now says any county that had already issued an order allowing vaccinated individuals to go maskless in certain indoor businesses can continue to do so.

Gyms, offices and churches in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and Sonoma counties will be allowed to let members continue without face coverings.

Just one day after health leaders decided to re-institute a statewide indoor mask mandate for everything, they changed their minds. Terry McSweeney reports.

For the San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition, which represents 80 small businesses with 800 employees, it’s the best possible Christmas gift.

“As we are heading into the New Year’s resolution periods, which are so important to every fitness studio and small neighborhood gym, any disruption to that could have cost jobs in San Francisco, and it could have cost businesses in San Francisco,” Dave Karraker said.

But for counties that had not already relaxed masking rules, masks are a must in all indoor public spaces.

“I never took my mask off. Very early in the pandemic, I lost a very close family friend to COVID-19, so because of that, I just feel more comfortable wearing mine,” said Erick Flores of Hayward. 

The state also has a couple of recommendations:

  • People get tested before attending any holiday celebrations
  • Those traveling to California get tested for COVID-19 within three to five days of their trip
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