No Indoor Masks Beginning Today in Santa Clara County

Santa Clara County lifted its indoor mask mandate today, the last county in the Bay Area to do so following the region's winter surge in COVID-19 cases.

County public health officials said Tuesday they expected to meet the third and final benchmark required to lift local masking rules, as the county's seven-day average of new cases has held below 550 for six consecutive days.

Last month, Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said the county would lift its masking order once the seven-day average fell below 550 new cases for seven consecutive days, 80 percent of all residents had completed their initial vaccination series and local COVID-19 hospitalizations remained "low and stable," in her estimation.

Nearly 85 percent of all county residents have been vaccinated, according to county data, and 244 people are currently hospitalized with COVID, down from the 262 who were hospitalized Feb. 24 when Cody announced the mask mandate could be lifted as soon as March 2.

Cody noted at a March 1 morning briefing that while it is "good news" that local conditions will allow the county to lift its mask requirements, the virus has not gone away completely.

“It's not completely safe ... we still have community transmission of COVID, but we've reached a level where it feels safe enough to make the transition from requirement to strong recommendation,” she said.

The county is lifting mask requirements in most settings for vaccinated people, but also for unvaccinated people for the first time since the pandemic began.

The changes align the county with the state's announcement Monday that it will no longer require unvaccinated residents to wear a mask inside public spaces like retail stores, restaurants and gyms.

The state lifted its mask mandate Feb. 16, as did 10 of the 11 counties in the greater Bay Area.

Santa Clara was one of just a few counties across the state to retain its indoor masking rules in an effort to further reduce the virus' spread.

The county and state still recommend that residents wear a mask indoors, if they want to do so, to reduce the virus' spread. Cody also said the county will support individual businesses if they choose to continue requiring masks indoors.

“The risk in our county is decreasing -- that is good news,” she said. “But there are still many who are at risk, long COVID is still unknown. It still makes sense to prevent infection however we can.”

Masks will still be required regardless of vaccination status under state and federal rules in health care facilities, homeless shelters, prisons, long-term care facilities and on public transit.

Santa Clara County Superior Court officials said masks will still be required indoors at all county courthouses, despite the lifting of the county mandate.

after the county's new policy goes into effect Wednesday.

“Like many of us in Santa Clara County, our court is encouraged by the data from our public health officials showing declining case rates and hospitalizations county-wide,” Presiding Judge Theodore C. Zayner said in a statement. “However, it remains imperative that our court continues to be vigilant in our efforts to protect the health and safety of all who enter our courthouses.”

Cody said Santa Clara County will also align its school masking policies with the state March 12, when statewide requirements for K-12 students will end.

The county has not had its own mask requirements specifically for schools since 2020, opting instead to follow the state's guidelines.

Cody did not give concrete details about if and when a blanket requirement to use masks indoors could return, but said that another surge in COVID cases should be expected at some point in the future.

“We probably will have another peak,” she said. “The contours of that peak are not known to us. We don't know what the variant will be, we don't know how the variant will behave. So we always have to be ready.”



  1. I’m sorry Steven’s PTSD is raging today, but it is AWESOME not sitting at work with a Costco mask on my face. And, the Karen’s that loved enforcing these rules no longer have power. Praise the Jesus!

    Now, we just need to get the kids uncovering their faces ASAP!

  2. Someone trying to give BenZ. some competition for repetitive posting?

    A new article just posted – who will win SG vs BZ for most # of posts?

  3. And to be honest, you know it’s time to drop the mask requirements because … nobody really cares. We have more important things to worry about. That’s how insignificant Covid-19 has become.

    I took my daughter for her booster shot yesterday at the Kaiser vaccination center in Milpitas. Everyone else in my family is already vaccinated and boosted. Nobody at Kaiser was guarding the door like before. There was no line like before. The guy registering people and telling them where to go was off doing something else, so we had to wait for him. One person showed up behind us when my daughter was getting the shot and they didn’t need to watch her for 15 minutes after. Nobody else was in line when we left.

    And I’m glad that I can take off my mask indoors when I think it’s OK or it’s just necessary. Last weekend I had to run up three flights of stairs at a customer office building, and it was just ridiculous to have to try to keep even an N98 mask on while I’m huffing and puffing.

    I’m still seeing people walking around outside fully masked with old cloth fashion masks and not a single person within 300 yards. It’s pretty sad, months after the CDC basically said publicly we need to upgrade our masks to at least N95 because we know now that cloth masks do so little to prevent Covid-19 infection.

    But, whatever…

  4. “Santa Clara County Superior Court officials said masks will still be required indoors at all county courthouses, despite the lifting of the county mandate.”

    I’d imagine a bunch of deputy sheriffs are really pissed right now and wishing they instead joined PD.

  5. Does anyone know if public hearings are scheduled for Cody to defend all her destructive actions yet?

  6. What everyone wants to know is if public hearings are scheduled for Cody to defend all her destructive actions yet? She must produce hard data from controlled studies indicating why she thought all her crazy ideas and orders should have worked. If she can’t thousands and thousands of businesses and millions of individuals should be suing her for the harm she caused to them. Let’s keep things simple and just start with the most recent absurd order that you can sit in restaurants and bars without masks with any number of people, but you must wear a mask while walking around Walmart. What is the “science” behind that? Please produce your data immediately Ms. Cody. The public can’t just sigh a sign of relief and move on. People must be held accountable for their actions.

  7. Looks like SG was working hard and late into the wee hours of the am to catch up –
    taking the lead by 5 over BZ,
    Will BZ be able to make up the difference?
    maybe… in the past he has been able rack up 20 posts or more in a day.

  8. Cody must produce the controlled studies and data upon which she made all of her orders. If it was just random ideas pulled out of the air the public needs to know that too. This is not bullying. This is demanding justice for millions of lives and businesses who were harmed by her health orders. The public deserves to know why they were subjected to what we were.

    The whole “mask up, shut down and shut up” theme isn’t working anymore. People want answers.

  9. And on the inside corner its SG by a neck over BZ…..2 furloughs and theyre neck and neck

  10. SG adds 3 more to his lead over BZ,
    taking a 13-5 lead….
    It looks like the rainy weather has slowed BZ down to standstill,
    allowing SG to take the advantage.

  11. It was nice to freely enter stores without a mask. I was able to show my friendly smile to others and attempt to reconnect socially with the world. Unfortunately, of the stores I went into, almost everyone was still masked up, so I had no idea if they smiled back. One brave cashier wasn’t wearing a mask, and I found it a joy to actually have a friendly chat and smile with her. But I’m still seeing people outside, alone, and masked. I’m looking forward to a little over a week from now when schools can unmask, especially the grade school and younger kids.
    Omicron is everywhere. We’ve all been exposed to it. The fears of superspreader occurrences from the Super Bowl and other events in late January and early February have gone unfounded. Meanwhile, in closed, ultra-masked Hong Kong, cases are out of control because vaccinations and natural exposure have been low. But masks work…not.

  12. Anyone know if Cody’s planning to reintroduce the mask mandates tomorrow? It’s been almost 3 days now. Reason I ask is… does anyone remember when she allowed restaurants to reopen a year or two ago and then closed them down again something like 2 or 3 days later? Basically, she tricked all the restaurants into restocking again and then forced them to once again toss a bunch of money down the toilet. Where was the science behind that? What data from controlled studies was she following?

    We really do need to find a way to attract more competent medical doctors to become government bureaucrats. It seems the only reason doctors go into this profession now is they flop out of getting a real job treating patients and doing things like surgery. The end result is what we have which is a seemingly confused person so far over her head that she did what she did. Of course, I could be wrong. During the public hearings she should get a chance to prove this by producing the data from controlled studies that guided her. If all the seeming nonsense was just pulled out of the air the entire county government needs to be held responsible.

  13. The break in rain gave BZ a chance to catch up with 6 posts in an hour.
    SG actually was able to get out and enjoy the partly sunny day,
    or was he worried the strong wind would blow covid his way?

    SG adds 2 more for 15 total,
    while BZ closed the gap by 6 for 11 total…
    Standby for weekend updates…

  14. Actually I’d guess we have over 50% excess bed capacity in SCC today and we have all along. Cody only removed reserve beds from the count when I pointed out the absurdity of her catastrophizing. The county used to have a disclaimer stating that they removed the beds from the count to make things seem worse than they were. Lying by county health directors should be criminal. Yet, she gets away with it every day.

  15. Well today is day three. Time for a confused health director to reinstate the mask mandate. Standing by to see the headlines. Will she shut down churches and restaurants again too today? I wonder if she’ll provide data from controlled studies to justify the orders this time or if she’s just going to pull the kindergartner ideas out of thin air. I heard someone sneeze at Walmart yesterday. The sky is falling.

  16. @Joe Smith,
    Not sure if the “Teachers Unions” will be able to Dictate ‘Science’ to obedient Dem Leadership as they have in the past,
    But LA Teachers Unions are trying to continue to punish the children.

    “The Unified Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) is pushing for mask mandates in LA schools to continue despite LA county’s decision to End School Masking on March 12.”

    UTLA said in a … that such protocols,
    “like indoor masking, have protected tens of thousands of educators and more than half a million students, along with their families.”

    “It is premature to discuss removing these health and safety measures while there are still many unvaccinated youth in our early education programs and schools,”

  17. After a few days of freedom, I’m convinced (again!) that this area loves to wear masks. People are still masked (and gloved) everywhere. A quick perusal of the ubiquitous NextDoor posts confirm it, as people write how they love wearing them and will continue to until there are no COVID cases…or even longer (because they hate getting colds). They also like to point out how compassionate they are to wear them “to protect others.” The ignorance is scary. What’s worse is the criticism of those that choose not to wear masks, as if the unmasked are carrying the plague. Again, the ignorance (dare say stupidity) is astounding!

  18. YOU are the one ignoring data and facts and picking and choosing what you want to believe. Until you decide to actually understand science, DO NOT address me again.

  19. We still haven’t seen any justification using hard data from controlled studies from Cody for all the harm she intentionally inflicted on SCC. Does anyone know if she has been arrested yet? Seems she is eligible for both state and federal prosecution. Crimes against humanity really.

  20. “SG adds 2 more for 15 total,
    while BZ closed the gap by 6 for 11 total…
    Standby for weekend updates”

    I’ve deduced that SG is chicken little, but who is BZ? And where is the weekend update? :)

  21. @DarthCovid,
    My first post defines BZ.
    I really thought BZ was going to take the win for most number of useless repetitive posts,
    in the past he has gone over 30 or more comments on the same article.

  22. It’s called for SG.
    Maybe BZ was too busy celebrating the end of Mask Mandates.

    SG adds 10 more for 25 total,
    while BZ ends with 11 total…
    even though the UFC and Volleyball posts were prime articles for BZ to run the boards.

  23. The Pessimistic, Prolific Panic Pontificator
    keeps making up his scenarios of doom & gloom…

    The reality is the Bay Area hospitals report as of 28Feb2022,
    LESS Than 10% inpatient beds occupied by Covid patients.
    and around 15% of ICU beds occupied by Covid patients.

    If he really is so concerned for the safety of the population,
    he would breaking down the doors of Sara Cody, Mark Ghaly, Sam Liccardo and Gavin Newsom to stress the dangers of their policies.
    They would have to listen to his expert analysis, based in his
    Delusions of Grandeur… and vast experience…
    – how he had a paper route so he knows how to read articles.
    – his cutting edge work in aids in high school.
    – his expertise in statistics and forecasting.
    – a world renown authority on risk analysis.
    – his HR background where he developed and honed his expert Interpersonal Communication Skills.
    and I am sure much, much, more,

    Who knows maybe they would recommend him for a position as an advisor to Joe Biden?
    or at least to Dr Fauci’s staff?

  24. No, I don’t read the Mercury News and never will. They present charts and data that says one thing and then their authors either lie or are completely ignorant of how to interpret a chart that they say the exact opposite of what the data shows. So no, I wouldn’t flush any of my time down the toilet reading anything out of the Mercury News and I don’t think anyone else should either.

    BTW… still waiting for data from controlled studies out of Cody. You know why she can’t produce them? It’s because none exist. She was pulling all the kindergartner ideas out of the air and that’s exactly why the didn’t work well at anything except harming children and destroying businesses.

  25. “Mask up, shut down and shut up.” We’ve heard it all before time and again for 2+ years without any scientific basis or justification. Time for politicians and bureaucrats to be held accountable for all the damage they did to society.

  26. Chicken Little, I mean Henny Penny, was bleating about the Super Bowl being a super spreader.

    It wasn’t.

    They’re doing wonderful things with antipsychotics and tranquilizers (as well as spell check!), and most are made by those oh-so-trustworthy pharma companies that are raking in millions from forced vaccines that carry real risks.

    BA.2 cases will likely rise here and elsewhere in the US in the coming weeks due to increased transmissibility and somewhat loosened restrictions, just as they have in other countries that have loosened restrictions. BA.2 will serve to naturally immunize the population, providing increased protection against further variants.

    Endemicity is here.

  27. Looks like DarthCovid had it mostly right…. and the Panic Pusher is hiding the complete picture again.

    Natural Immunity is Very Strong for Omicron, even though Omicron is a Weak version of Covid.
    …and with almost half of the U.S. already having had Covid … plus a high vaccination rate…
    there is a lot of Immunity to go around.

    “More than 140 million Americans — about 43% of the nation’s population — have had COVID-19, according to CDC estimates ”

    “Infection with Omicron sub-lineage BA.1 protects from reinfection against BA.2 sub-lineage and vice-versa”

    “In the BA.1-against-BA.2 study,… the effectiveness of BA.1 infection against reinfection with BA.2 was estimated to be 94.9%.”

    “In the BA.2-against-BA.1 study, … the effectiveness of BA.2 infection against reinfection with BA.1 estimated to be 85.6%.”
    The Truth is it was a Nice Sunny Day, although a bit windy – get out and enjoy the weather.
    Don’t worry the wind will not blow Covid your way.

  28. Mask up, shut down and shut up everyone!! Don’t you know we have a virus to fight? And now, Russia is spreading it everywhere via the Internet. But if you’re double-masked you are 100% protected from it. Especially protected from the variants that spread via the Internet.

    No one has any data to support any of these statements but shut up anyway. It could be true and bad things might be possible. It’s just too early to tell. We just don’t know yet.

  29. Another Fact Check: FALSE for the Pandemic Panic Pusher.

    The Truth remains the same:
    ALL COVID Trends show a Steady DECLINE in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths.

    ALL COVID Forecasts are for a DECLINE in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths.

    Why are children being force masked until March 12th?

    —– “COVID-19 vaccinations down 47% this week: 10 CDC findings” (04Mar2022 MBean) —-

    10 things to know:

    1. Nation’s 7-day case average DECREASED 28.5% as of March 2…

    2. The 7-day death average is DOWN 8.9% from the previous week’s average.
    This marks the 4th Consecutive Week Deaths have FALLEN.

    3. The 7-day hospitalization avg DECREASED 30.3% from the previous week’s average.

    4. As of March 2, about 76.4% of the total U.S. population
    — have received at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,
    and more than 65% have received both doses.

    5. About 50% of people eligible for a booster dose have gotten one…
    6. The 7-day avg number of daily vaccines administered Decreased 46.9% from the previous week.

    7. The 7-day avg for POS tests is 3.8%, down 1.65% from the previous week.
    8. The nation’s 7-day avg test volume was down 15.7% from the prior week’s average.

    9. …CDC estimates the Omicron Variant accounts for 100% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases.
    10. CDC estimates that BA.1.1 accounts for 74.6% of cases,
    while the BA.2 subvariant accounts for 8.3% of cases.

    The REAL Issue is why does the U.S. have a leader that goes to Shunned & Rejected Dictatorships to Beg for Oil? (Iran?, Venezuela? Russia? Saudi Arabia?)
    Why does the U.S. Administration wish to enrich foreign Despots and Dictators?
    While at the same time gives speeches telling us to Make American & Buy American?

  30. Mask up, shut down and shut up everyone! Because Cody said so. Things might be turning bad and there’s a possibility that someone could get sick. It’s a bit too early to tell but hospitals might be over run. We just don’t know yet. Yet, we completely ignore the fact that our children forced to sit for 30 minutes in direct sunlight during lunch without any shelter while their school administrators, teachers and school board members sit indoors in restaurants with all their friends for lunch. Where’s the science behind that Cody?

  31. Regarding hospital data, for SCC, there is no designation between patients hospitalized because of COVID and patients hospitalized because of other ailments but subsequently testing positive for COVID. All hospitals test all their admitted patients for COVID no matter what. Being that omicron is everywhere and really can’t be stopped, which is supported by the high case numbers in January and February, we may consider that many hospitalizations were for non-COVID patients that tested positive when admitted, but were otherwise asymptomatic. Add to this that many people, after waiting almost two years to address non-COVID medical issues, are now going to hospitals to receive treatments for their non-COVID ailments, and are then testing positive but asymptomatic. So, while hospital data will always be important, it’s also important to understand that it doesn’t necessarily provide a granular view.

    Wastewater monitoring is fascinating. I think it’s a great tool to provide a warning for communities so they can prepare for potential emergencies. The amount of COVID RNA in the wastewater of Santa Clara county has decreased significantly at a very steady rate from its peak in early January. The SCC data is great because it gives an overall graph of trends since it began in late 2020. It matches up almost perfectly with case numbers. For the CDC data, the majority of current wastewater monitoring sites (two-thirds) in the US are also trending down over 15 days in the amount of COVID RNA detected, though 15 days doesn’t really give a great indication of trends, and the CDC data is spotty at best throughout the country, with many states having either a lot of monitoring or none at all. This type of monitoring should be everywhere to provide a better picture, and the long-term trends should be given.

  32. @Robert,
    Correct – as of Feb 28th the average Bay Area Hospital reported about 7%-9% of inpatients were Covid Pos.
    Hardly a Covid Catastrophe.
    ICU beds occupied by Covid pos (not necessarily covid impacted) patients ranged from 11% -15%.

    And CDC reports nationwide Declining Covid: Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths.

    For some reason, while CA has moved on to endemicity, the Garbage In = Garbage Out Panic Posting seem to multiply ten-fold.

  33. The Bad News Just Keeps Piling Up… And you Cannot Deny the Truth in It!

    — Alarming New Study Finds That Everyone Who Gets COVID Will Die At Some Point (Dec2021 BBee) —

    The CDC has announced the results of an alarming new study:
    everyone who has ever been infected with COVID-19 will die at some point in their life.

    “Yes, everyone who gets COVID will die,”
    said a spokesperson for the CDC.
    “Maybe not immediately, but at some point, in the future.
    Almost all of those people who die will have had COVID at some point in their lives.
    This is horrible news.”
    “This is a terrifying statistic,” said Don Lemon on his nightly CNN broadcast.
    “The correlation between being infected and eventually dying is too high to dismiss.
    The important takeaway here is that WE Should ALL Be Terrified.”
    In a statement from the White House, Pres Biden expressed
    that he was “shook” by the study and
    would take aggressive action by Infringing on a Few More Liberties just to be on the safe side.
    Conservative critics have responded by saying that everyone
    who voted for Biden will also eventually die –
    Except For The Ones Who Are Already Dead.

  34. The concept of satire went totally over Chicken Little’s head! It’s way funny too because Henny Penny was earlier quoting stuff from peoplesworld (aka The Daily Worker), the pinko, commie rag. Understandable now that all his blathering, fears, and predictions are crumbling. Maybe it’s the lack of oxygen and vitamin D from all that quadruple N95, glove, and shield wearing.
    COVID’s here to stay, just like all other coronaviruses and influenza. Get a vaccine if you wish. Mask up if you wish. Heck, become a bubble boy/girl/they if you wish. However, the more people exposed to COVID, the more people that will develop some type of immunity to it.

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