Alameda County in California’s bay area has reinstated its indoor mask mandate, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases. The mask mandate came into effect on June 3 and does not apply in K-12 school settings. In all other public places involving children and youth, which includes summer school, childcare, and youth programs, the mask mandate will be in effect, The Epoch Times reported.
“Daily reported COVID-19 cases have exceeded the peak of last summer’s Delta wave and are now approaching levels seen during the winter 2020-21 wave, at comparable lab-reported testing levels. Reported cases are an underestimate of the total due to home testing and unidentified infections,” Alameda County health officials wrote in a press release.
“Rising COVID cases in Alameda County are now leading to more people being hospitalized and today’s action reflects the seriousness of the moment,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss. “We cannot ignore the data, and we can’t predict when this wave may end. Putting our masks back on gives us the best opportunity to limit the impact of a prolonged wave on our communities.”
Alameda County has become the first in California to reintroduce its mask mandate.
While the measures are now in effect, an ABC News report found that most residents are unaware. “I don’t think people know.
“I had no idea. None of my friends have said anything. I don’t think my family knows. People still seem not to be masked inside stores,” a resident told ABC 7 after shopping in a grocery store.
The county is the first in California to reinstate a mask requirement since February when the state and most municipalities lifted mandates.