California county reinstates indoor mask mandate

In California’s Bay Area, Alameda County residents will be required to mask up in most public indoor settings again.

Effective Friday, officials cited rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, noting that daily reported 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 believed to be an underestimate of the total.

“Hospitalizations are also rising after remaining stable during the early weeks of this wave. Daily new admissions of patients with COVID-19 rapidly increased in recent days and now exceed last summer’s peak. We expect to reach [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)] ‘High’ COVID-19 Community Level soon, given current trends,” the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency said in a release. “In addition, when COVID-19 cases started to rise again in April, we did not observe in our data the disproportionate impacts on communities of color. That is no longer true and Hispanic/Latino residents now have the highest case rate in Alameda County among the largest race/ethnicity groups.”- READ MORE