Local health officials agreed on new criteria for indoor masking, but San Mateo County will not lift its mask mandate yet.

The new rules, released by the health officers from nine Bay Area counties and cities in a statement on Thursday, allows each jurisdiction to independently lift its indoor mask mandate when it meets a set of three criteria.

The first requirement is that the county’s COVID-19 transmission fall to “moderate,” meaning its case and positive test rate go down from current levels and stay down for at least three weeks. The health officers also require that 80 percent of all residents are fully vaccinated and that local hospitalizations remain low.

San Mateo County does not currently meet the first standard, as transmission in the county remains “substantial,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. County data released Wednesday shows that 82 percent of all residents — including kids who aren’t currently eligible for a shot — are vaccinated. Local hospital capacity appears stable at around a dozen COVID-19 patients on any given day, but that metric will ultimately be judged by Health Officer Scott Morrow, the statement reads.

The indoor mask mandate could also be lifted eight weeks after a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use for 5- to 11-year-olds, according to the statement. No other jurisdictions currently meet all three of the criteria. San Francisco will go ahead and lift part of its mask mandate on Oct. 13, allowing vaccinated people to go unmasked indoors where they’ve proven their vaccination status and where no children are present.

Some spaces, like public transportation and hospitals, will remain under a federal mask order until it is lifted nationwide. State regulations would also require anyone who remains unvaccinated to continue wearing a mask in all indoor public spaces. Local masking guidelines at schools won’t be affected by this new order.

“As a safety measure, along with vaccination, face coverings have been key to our success in the Bay Area in reducing transmission and protecting public health,” Morrow wrote in the statement. “As we look toward lifting the mandate, it’s vital for everyone who has not gotten vaccinated to consider getting vaccinated right away.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

More Stories

  • 0

The California Gubernatorial Recall Election comes to a conclusion on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Ballots were mailed to all voters in California last month, and can be dropped off at drop boxes across the county, including at Half Moon Bay Library and the Pacifica Community Center.

  • 0

Beachgoers saw an unusual sight in Linda Mar on Friday morning: A sailboat washed up on the sand.

  • 0

Though it is early in plans to build a pair of housing projects in and around Pacifica, a new nonprofit has formed to challenge the development and protect the southern hillsides of the valley along San Pedro Mountain.

  • 0

The vast majority of land set aside for residential use on the San Mateo County coast is constrained by single-family zoning, attracting wealthy homeowners looking for large properties and small-town charm.

  • 0

Pacific Coast Television honors outstanding members of the community in an annual broadcast known as PCT Honors. This year, the program is virtual at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 and can be seen by tuning into PCT on Channel 26 in Pacifica or Channel 27 in Half Moon Bay.

  • 0

When it comes to preventative medicine for our canine companions, vaccinations are at the top of the list. You should have a conversation with your veterinarian regarding which vaccines your pet needs. A lot of this depends on your dog’s lifestyle and possible exposure risks.

Recommended for you