Effective Aug. 3, It’s an Order throughout Bay Area: Wear Masks in All Indoor Settings

Health officers in seven Bay Area counties today changed last week’s indoor mask recommendation into an order requiring everyone to again wear masks in all indoor settings.

In an effort to slow sharply rising infection rates in the region, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody joined health officers in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley at a noon briefing about the new local health orders and the indoor use of face coverings.

“Universal indoor use of face coverings is the least disruptive and most immediately impactful additional measure to take, “ Cody wrote in today’s order.

The county order, to go into effect at 12:01 am Tuesday, Aug. 3, “is made in light of the recent significant increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Santa Clara County due primarily to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19,” wrote Cody.

“Emerging evidence indicates that the Delta variant is more transmissible than prior variants of the virus, may cause more severe illness, and that even fully vaccinated individuals can spread the virus to others,” according to the health officer. “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) now both recommend that all persons—regardless of vaccination status—wear face coverings indoors.  Vaccination remains the best and most effective tool in preventing COVID-19 and its harms.”

She added that “evidence shows that even against the Delta variant, fully vaccinated individuals have substantial protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”

Seeking to continue to the proportion of the population vaccinated is the best measure available, Cody said in her order.

Regardless of vaccination status, all persons must wear face coverings at all times when indoors except:

  • In their own residence or working in a closed room or office alone or with members of their household
  • When they are actively performing an activity that cannot be done while wearing a face covering (e.g., actively eating or drinking, swimming or showering in a fitness facility, or obtaining a medical or cosmetic service requiring removal of a face covering); or,
  • As specifically exempted from use of face coverings under the guidance of CDPH at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx (e.g., to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired or where a face covering poses a safety risk).

She added a warning about dining in restaurants, which had been reopened. “All persons are strongly discouraged from engaging in any activities that require removal of face coverings indoors (e.g., indoor dining), and instead encouraged to choose safer alternatives (e.g., outdoor dining).  Even outdoors, individuals are recommended to use face coverings if they are in crowded areas.”

Businesses, schools and nonprofits as well as governmental entities are required to enforce this face covering requirement for all employees, customers or members of the public entering their facilities, regardless of vaccination status.

All businesses, schools and nonprofits as well as governmental entities must post clearly visible and easy-to-read signage at all entry points for indoor settings to communicate the face covering requirements to all persons entering the facility.

County officials said that because getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect the vaccinated person from infection, hospitalization, or death from COVID-19, as well as to prevent harm to others by reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19, “all eligible persons are strongly urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.”
She also recommended that all businesses and governmental entities implement mandatory vaccination requirements for all personnel, subject only to the limited exemptions required by law, and:

  • Move operations and activities outdoors where possible, where there is significantly less risk of COVID-19 transmission.  Where this is not possible, ventilation should be maximized.
  • Prohibit all personnel who are not fully vaccinated from engaging in any work-related travel to places with elevated rates of COVID-19, with widespread circulation of variants of concern, or where community vaccination rates are below the average in the Bay Area region.
  • Require all personnel not fully vaccinated to obtain frequent testing for COVID-19 consistent with current local, state, and federal recommendations.  Any person, vaccinated or unvaccinated, who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should be tested immediately.

Cody asked the sheriff, all chiefs of police in the county, and all enforcement officers to work to ensure compliance with and enforce this Order.  “The violation of any provision of this order constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both,” she wrote.

California had adopted the Center for Disease Control’s revised May guidance on June 15 when the state retired most of its pandemic restrictions. The state has continued to require those who haven’t been vaccinated to wear masks indoors in public places.


Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.


  1. release the brown shirts!

    beat the heretics!

    make examples of the resistance

    all must obey or be ground to chalk

    feel the bern

    obey your masters

  2. It is not unlikely that the variations in infection rates, hospitalizations, and deaths have been a little more than the natural perturbations of the viral cycles.

    It is possible that neither the vaccines, masks, nor social distancing had anything to do with the cycles or significantly mitigating the infection rates.

    One thing is for certain, neither the CDC nor our local officials have a clue. They may be just riding the inverse wave of correlation does not represent causation.

  3. Though two recommendations were made (masks & vaccinations), note that the order speaks only of the effectiveness of vaccines, not masks. About the latter measure the best Dr. Cody could do was to describe them as the “least disruptive and most immediately impactful.” But impactful how? If masks are effective then the doctor should state it and provide some credible references.

    The only impact masks have is to assist the party in power in its efforts to keep America divided, to keep the Chicken Littles panicked and pointing fingers at the imaginary demons of COVID (Red Staters, Republicans, the un-vaccinated); to convince them that there is someone to blame and hate, all the while deflecting their attention from the ruinous policies of the Biden-Harris administration, the only virus with the potential to kill the nation.

  4. More absurdities from dumb and dumber. We don’t even pretend to be concerned about over running hospitals or the death rate from covid anymore. Now the concern is the presence of the delta variant in my nose and someone somehow picking my nose to catch the virus from me. Not that there is a risk that they would be hospitalized or die from it even if I allowed them to harvest it from my nose. How stupid everyone is. Just look at the SCC dashboards. They haven’t changed… and this is after Ms. Cody removed 60% of our hospital beds from the count. What will they try to do next to continue with the fearmongering, catastrophizing and intentional destruction of our society? If you’re a small business owner look out because after Cody proves once again that masks do nothing at all the business shutdowns and school shutdowns will begin in earnest again–likely next week. Stupidity 2.0.

  5. If they really wanted to do something they’d close the damn border. Another Record breaking month – over 210,000 illegal crossings in July.
    Yes you get your VAC and still wear a mask and stay in your basement while:
    the Southern Border is OPEN for COVID importation. “Buses leaving Texas border towns packed with illegal migrants”
    “The number of detainees who tested positive for COVID-19 in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector alone has increased by 900%,”
    ..”more than 2000 illegal crossers apprehended each day and accounting for 60% of confirmed COVID positive detainees in the U.S. Border Patrol custody.”
    …”the southern border saw more than 188,000 migrants (Illegal crossers) encountered in June alone – including a 25% increase in the number of family units encountered.”

  6. Win or lose, the lockdown will happen after the recall election. 2021 is 2020 in reverse: instead of lockdown, masks, and vaccinations, all of which failed to stop the spread of a mutating virus, this year we have vaccinations, masks, and eventually another lockdown. Gavin has an itchy trigger finger, but everyone knows he’ll lose if he orders a lockdown on or before September 14.

  7. TO Steven G:
    Now you have degree in “life sciences?” You have previous stated that you have degrees in Business (information technology) and Human Resources. So you now add new degrees in addition to playing at being an attorney?
    Checked your online information — it doesn’t mention your degrees in “life science.” While you have had something like 16 or 17 jobs plus some long periods of unemployment, there is nothing listed in the medical field. Washing test tubes as a lab assistant probably doesn’t add a lot to your medical gravitas.
    Look, Steven, you seem like a smart guy; however, your constant attacking and harassing people (particularly with your ALL CAPS RESPONSES) is less than endearing to people. Stop braying at people who state a brief opinion. This isn’t the Supreme Court.

  8. HB, I don’t think StevenG realizes his posts are unreadable.. they get a glance or a skim.. but posting a manifesto type reply in all CAPS? Not even a simple wiki how-to seems to help him.
    Maybe he can refer to the link below..
    All-caps might look cool to you, but experienced users will write you off as an IDIOT.

    It’s okay to use all-caps for headings and/or titles in your messages, or even to EMPHASIZE certain words, but anything beyond that is equivalent to screaming at someone.”

  9. Restaurants, bars along with nail and hair salons start lock down before the end of the week once Cody realizes there is no competent argument for allowing them to remain open but requiring people to wear leaky masks while they walk around Walmart. After that doesn’t have any meaningful effect also, schools and most other businesses will be shut down also. This is so 2020. Will your businesses be able to withstand another year of shutdowns? Feds already blew their wad (twice) so they won’t be coming to rescue again. If they do print more money, our present 30% annual inflation rate changes to 80%.

  10. Just returned from the local major chain grocery store – policy hasn’t changed – Masks still optional. Maybe they are thinking Adults can be treated like adults to make their own decisions.
    Only a handful of folks not wearing one but the store was pretty MT at 10PM anyhow.

  11. Goldy: Show us your studies that prove that eating in a restaurant or having drinks in a bar without wearing a mask is safe but walking around Walmart without one is a dangerous virus spreading activity. It’s completely absurd. The fact that we’ve put up with the nonsense for going on two years now shows just how stupid we are as a society.

  12. This is an outlandish mandate. Complete lunacy. Why? Santa Clara County has a 78% vaccine rate, which is well above the national goal (resulting in herd immunity). And neighboring counties also have the same high rates of vaccines for eligible individuals. What is the result? A rolling 7-day average of ZERO COVID deaths in Santa Clara County. Hospitals are not overwhelmed – as studies show, and this is data widely available, that vaccinated people make up less than 1% of hospitalizations. And kids, even those not vaccinated, make up less than 1% of COVID deaths (they use the term “incredibly rare”), and rarely have severe complications. On top of that, COVID hospitalizations, for children are being over-reported in some cases. Meaning, if I take my kid to the hospital for a broken ankle and they test him/her, and they are positive for COVID, that is considered a hospitalization due to COVID.

    A 78% vaccination rate, ZERO deaths, no overwhelmed hospitals – this County should be fully open with no restrictions. And, should be an example of how high vaccination rates equate to “normalcy.” Instead, we are reverting back to these strict measures that prove to be useless. We succeeded in this County with vaccine goals and need to move on. COVID will always be here like the seasonal flu and the vaccine is WAY more effective than the flu vaccine and the flu is actually more dangerous for kids than COVID is, or equally as. So why no flu shot mandates?

    This move is an example of fear, not data and science, driving public policy and mandates. So many vaccinated still wearing masks in their cars and outside is a symbol of fear at this point and the County should stop with the mandates, and start telling people we succeeded in achieving herd immunity. We will always have cases – COVID isn’t going away. But the goal was always to limit severe disease, hospitalizations and death…it wasn’t to eradicate cases.

    This is poor leadership.

  13. Despite Media FEAR PORN, Data Shows ‘DELTA VARIANT’ is More BARK Than BITE.
    “It is striking that COVID mortality is at such low levels despite the fact that we are seeing an increase in cases of late… Though cases may rise, deaths will no longer follow in proportion. We have effectively defanged the disease with our successful vaccination rollout.”
    Stanford Professor of Medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya

    “..the White House announced that 70% of adults had received one dose of a COVID vaccine, which you’d think would make the Maskholes happy. Nope.
    Cities all across the U.S. announced Monday that they were looking at reinstituting mask mandates, even though one of President Biden’s COVID advisors flat out said on CNN that
    the cloth masks being worn are worthless against the virus.”

    “…FEAR PORN makes the media a bunch of money.
    The data, however, is telling a different story. Follow the data.”

  14. I stopped reading anything the clown SG writes…. Its an absolute waste of valuable time. His fulltime job is to attack any dissenting views. Its pretty scary how the tactics from Nazi Germany are being played out now in 2021.

  15. Sorry Goldy, fake news articles are not scientific studies. The whole idea that you can sit and eat with friends and neighbors in restaurants and bars but can’t go to Walmart and walk past them without masks is completely absurd. Everyone knows this. It’s dumb.

  16. Steven, you’re the only one being dishonest here, and anyone can look up the stats I cited. You are a fear monger and a dangerous individual. You need help which is evidenced through your manic episodes all over San Jose Inside and Spotlight. It’s concerning. That is the last time I will engage with your nonsense. Get help.

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