Santa Clara County Optimistic Outdoor Mask Mandate Will Be Lifted March 2

Santa Clara County, the last remaining county in the state with an indoor masking mandate for vaccinated individuals, took one step closer to lifting the order today, but stopped short of announcing it definitely will occur.

“Our COVID-19 hospitalizations are low and stable, and today we have met the new-case metric as well. These data are very encouraging, and I anticipate that our steady downward trend in cases will continue,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said today.

One more week and the masks might come off. “We are on track,” Cody said at a midday press conference.

“ If this continues, we will be able to safely transition from a requirement for indoor masking to a strong recommendation on March 2” to lift the mandate.

Cody defended “sticking to our metrics,” as the safest course in the face of declining numbers of Covid-19 in the county.

She said she is confident that her approach has helped to ensure that “everyone in our community is protected –the elderly, young children, essential workers, and those who are immunocompromised – as our community transmission settles down.”

Cody said state indoor masking requirements would still apply for unvaccinated individuals and in schools and other settings regardless of vaccination status.

Also today, San José Mayor Sam Liccardo announced a proposal to change the booster mandate for public entry on all city-owned facilities, including the SAP Center, Convention Center, and historic theaters, in response to the recent decline of Omicron variant COVID-19 cases.

Liccardo proposed an end to the current booster mandate for the public entering city-owned facilities, while continuing existing testing requirements in compliance with state law.

“The booster mandate served its purpose during the Omicron surge, by encouraging attendees and visitors in public buildings to protect themselves and each other during the period when our ICU’s faced the greatest stress of rising hospitalizations,” he said in a statement. “ While this surge has run its course, we must remain vigilant about the next one.”

The county Public Health Department announced today that the seven-day rolling average for new Covid-19 cases was 501, the first day at 550 cases or lower since updated criteria for modifying the county’s universal indoor masking mandate were announced.

Cody said that if the seven-day rolling average of new daily cases remains at or below 550 for 7 consecutive days, the indoor masking requirement would no longer be mandatory beginning March 2.

State health officials will keep in place universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status in many settings, including all K-12 schools, childcare facilities, public transit, healthcare facilities, shelters, jails, and long-term care facilities.

California's Covid-19 mask requirements.

As previously announced, the three metrics that need to be met to transition the county’s universal indoor masking requirement to a recommendation are:

  • At least 80% of the County population is vaccinated;
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction are low and stable in the judgment of the Public Health Officer; and,
  • The 7-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases is 550 or lower for at least 7 consecutive days.

The county previously met the requirement of at least 80% of the entire population being vaccinated. Cody also confirmed the metric for Covid-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction has been met.


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. Permanent Pandemic Panic Pushers…
    Adults can decide when & where they want to mask up –
    the real issue is Freeing the Children from harmful & ineffective school mask mandates,
    imposed by Gov Newsom and Teacher Unions…
    The Rational Facts are that in CA Hospitals (as of Feb 24th):

    ICU Bed Utilization for Covid is………… 15% (Downward Trend Continues)
    Inpatient Bed Utilization for Covid is……. 9% (Downward Trend Continues)
    ICU Bed Utilization (all causes) is………. 75% (STABLE)
    Percent Inpatients with Covid is…………. 11% (Downward Trend Continues)

    Testing Case Counts remain meaningless…

    —— 3 COVID-19 forecasts to know this week (21Feb2022, MBean) —–
    After weeks of projecting rising or stable COVID-19 deaths,
    the CDC said it expects deaths to fall through early March.

    The forecast projects 6,300 to 13,200 new deaths likely reported in the week ending March 12,
    and is DOWN from 5,800 to 21,700 new deaths expected in the week ending March 5.

    The CDC said its ensemble forecasts are among the most reliable for COVID-19 modeling…

    Two more forecasts to know:

    1. Daily COVID-19 Hospital Admissions are projected to FALL nationwide over the next 4 weeks,
    with 900 to 11,600 new admissions likely reported March 11,
    according to the CDC’s ensemble forecast from 14 modeling groups.

    For reference,
    the 7-day hospitalization average for Feb. 9-15 was 8,642, a 28.8% DECREASE
    from the previous week’s average.

    2. The nation’s Daily COVID-19 Case Rate is expected to FALL 45% over the next 2 weeks,
    according to predictive modeling from Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic.

    As of Feb. 19, the nation’s average Daily COVID-19 Case Rate was 34.6 per 100,000 people.
    Mayo Clinic’s modeling predicts this rate WILL FALL to 18.9 per 100,000 by March 5.
    The Real Issue is Freeing the Children from Ineffective and Harmful Masking in Schools.

  2. The Dems are running from mandates faster then they ran from de-fund the police ?.

    It is truly amazing what a pending election can accomplish. ??. Whatever you do, do not buy into the? that they have changed. They will only change long enough to get reelected.

  3. How about Cody instead be terminated today. She has still yet to produce data from a single controlled study proving why we should have been masked or locked down in the first place. We should also be saying goodbye to all the incompetents on the board of supervisors. Think about this next time you have a chance to vote. Masks and lockdowns come back next flu season and every flu season from here on out unless we demand data and we hold those accountable when they fail to provide it. Without question, the masking rules and lockdowns should have ended the day that the national guard emergency hospital tents at the county fairgrounds were shutdown because we knew we had plentiful hospital space. Not 7 days after that but on that very day 2+ years ago we should have completely reopened and rejected all of the stupidity about masking in Walmart but not in restaurants and bars or when dancing but you have to wear them while singing in church. Our lives and businesses were needlessly and permanently harmed. Our children lost years of proper education and quacks like Cody hurt children so much that the CDC had to come out with new guidelines with delayed timelines for when children will develop speech. Shame on Cody and all the others who have done this to a generation of children. Shame on all of us voters for allowing it. Hopefully, someday our children will be able to forgive us as they look back on being forced to eat outside in the sun at school coming home sun burned. Eating outside in the cold yet they can stay warm inside with all their same friends for class. Shame on all of us.

  4. HB

    exactly, Nov 2022 is coming, and it looks like Commandant Cody is feeling the squeeze

    everyone needs to get back to work

  5. Not him,

    Who’s not at work? People who can work from home are doing that. People who need to be on-site are masking up. I work in a warehouse and I’ve been going to work this whole time as have many others.

    Many people are trying to transition away from l paying blue collar jobs and employers who don’t pay enough are having problems, which is appropriate in my opinion. That part is not a result of any lockdown…nobody is locked down right now dude.

  6. @Work90,
    The CDC ‘guidance’ is only useful to local government if it supports oppressive bureaucracy desires. Then bureaucrats/ teachers unions can say they are following ‘the science’ to push their mandates,
    even when the CDC relaxes masking they will provide enough ‘cover’ in the guidance for local governments to be more restrictive.

    What you need is vocal pressure from the public (ie. PO’d Parents) to make the change,
    or from the
    ‘silent majority’ voters to elect Better Leadership – like recently in Virginia and Florida.

    —– “‘People want to live FREELY in Florida’: DeSantis makes significant changes to state’s COVID-19 guidelines” (24Feb2022) ——-

    Gov Ron DeSantis and State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo announced changes to Florida’s COVID-19 guidance …
    titled “Buck the CDC” ….

    “People want to live freely in Florida,
    without corporate masking creating a two-tier society and
    without overbearing isolation for children,”
    said Governor Ron DeSantis.
    “We are empowering health care practitioners to FOLLOW SCIENCE,
    not Fauci’s status quo.”

    DeSantis and Ladapo say the guidance pushes back against recommendations for masking, isolation and COVID treatments.
    It discourages companies from requiring employees to wear masks.

    “There’s never been any evidence that this benefits employees.
    There’s never been any evidence that benefits patrons to businesses
    and we’re not recommending it here in Florida,”
    Dr. Ladapo stated.

    The new guidance gives health care practitioners the flexibility to decide to treat patients with off-label prescriptions…
    -Reduce isolation for all Floridians including students and kids in daycare to 5 days.
    The CDC guidelines recommend another five days of mask-wearing.

    “What this does is Recognize REALITY.
    It’s So Important for Parents & Students but
    this is also something being updated at large for the public,”
    DeSantis said.

  7. Today the CDC said that Santa Clara County is a “Medium” risk County and as such the CDC no longer recommends the use of masks by the general public, including in schools.

    So are we going to follow the CDC & “the science”? or Sara Cody’s arbitrary guesstimates?

  8. Permanent Pandemic Panic Pushers…
    Unbelievable – Some will never let go of their Fear & the Fearmongering…
    Why is Santa Clara County waiting until Mar02?

    Why are children still being masked?
    “…CDC also is easing its recommendations for wearing masks in indoor K-12 settings.”

    Adults can decide when & where they want to mask up –
    the real issue is Freeing the Children from harmful & ineffective school mask mandates,
    imposed on children by Gov Newsom and Teacher Unions…
    The Rational Facts are that in CA Hospitals (as of Feb 25th):

    ICU Bed Utilization for Covid is………… 14% (Downward Trend Continues)
    Inpatient Bed Utilization for Covid is……. 8% (Downward Trend Continues)
    ICU Bed Utilization (all causes) is………. 76% (STABLE)
    Percent Inpatients with Covid is…………. 10% (Downward Trend Continues)

    Testing Case Counts remain mostly meaningless…

    —— WHO: Omicron subvariant now dominant in 18 countries & 6 more updates (24Feb2022, ECarbajal) —–

    COVID Cases worldwide fell 21% for the week ending Feb. 20 ….
    Global Deaths also fell 8% from the week before.

    Six updates on BA.2:

    1. As of Feb. 21, the U.S. had identified 1,359 COVID-19 cases involving BA.2, …The strain has been identified in almost every state… though its overall prevalence in each state is
    very low, accounting for 0.38% or less of all samples sequenced.

    2. Initial data indicates BA.2 has a growth advantage over BA.1 — the original omicron strain —though the “difference in transmissibility appears to be much smaller” than the difference between BA.1 and delta…

    3. There have been documented cases of reinfection with BA.2 after infection with BA.1,
    though early data based on population-level studies suggest that
    infection with BA.1 provides STRONG PROTECTION against reinfection from the omicron subvariant.

    4. So far, real-world data from South Africa, the U.K. and Denmark have found
    NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE in disease SEVERITY between BA.2 and BA.1…

    5. The WHO has also said BA.2 should remain classified as an omicron sublineage rather than getting its own name, based on available data so far.

    6. Health experts in the U.S. have said the subvariant is a reminder that new virus strains will continue to emerge, though it is NOT CAUSE FOR PANIC.
    “As of now, I don’t think that we need to sound a global alarm.
    But I do think that we need to pay attention,”

    The Real Issue is Freeing the Children from Ineffective and Harmful Masking in Schools.

  9. Permanent Pandemic Panic Pushers…
    Driving some to Fantastical & Fake Fear-Mongering…
    Voluminous Boastful Bloviating…

    The Rational Truth is:

    ALL Trends Show a Decrease & Decline in Covid Cases, Hospitalizations & Deaths.

    — “US COVID-19 Deaths DROP for 3rd week + 9 other CDC Findings” (25Feb2022 GMasson) —

    COVID-19 Deaths FELL nationally for the 3rd week in a row,
    while Hospitalizations DECLINED for the 4th straight week
    Cases DROPPED for the 5th straight week,
    according to the CDC’s COVID-19 data tracker…

    10 Things to Know:

    Reported CASES:
    1. …the nation’s 7-day case avg DECREASED 37.7% from the previous week’s average.

    2. The 7-day death average is DOWN 18.8% from the previous week’s average.

    3. The 7-day hospitalization avg DECREASED 30% from the previous week’s average.

    4. As of Feb. 23, about 76.3% of the total U.S. population
    — have received at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,
    and more than 64.8% 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 17.6% from the previous week.

    7. The 7-day avg for POS tests is 5.4%, down 3% from the previous week.

    8. The nation’s 7-day avg test volume was down 7.7% from the prior week’s average.

    9. …the CDC estimated the Omicron Variant accounts for 100% of new U.S. COVID-19 cases.

    10. CDC estimates that BA.1.1 accounts for 75.6% of cases,
    while the BA.2 subvariant accounts for 3.8% of cases.

    As Before,
    The Real Issue is Freeing the Children from Ineffective & Harmful Masking in Schools.

  10. The Pandemic is over, and has been. Just look up the latest Democrat talking points and you will see for yourself.

  11. @Work90, Lol, I saw an email screen shot from DNC over the weekend…

    DEMs need to stress how Biden has Conquered Covid…lol.

    All the while the polls have Biden underwater in Every Category including his Covid crisis collapse.

  12. OK, a version to read & marvel at the DEM Audacity to Mislead the public is available from Impact Research.
    Titled: Taking the Win over COVID-19 (February 24, 2022)
    Key Points:
    – Declare the crisis phase of COVID over and push for feeling and acting more normal. Thanks to Democrats

    – Recognize that people are “worn out” and feeling real harm from the years- long restrictions and TAKE THEIR SIDE. Most Americans have personally moved out of crisis mode.
    ….66% of parents and 80% of teachers say the pandemic caused learning loss, and voters are overwhelmingly more worried about learning loss than kids getting COVID.

    – Acknowledge COVID still exists and likely will for a long time.
    … the threat of COVID is no longer what it was even 1 year ago and therefore should not be treated as such – shutdowns, masks, and lockdowns were meant to save lives when there was NOT YET a vaccine that could do that. (REALLY? DEMs Finally acknowledge this?)

    – Don’t set “COVID zero” as the victory condition.
    …83% say the pandemic will be over when it’s a mild illness like the flu rather than COVID being completely gone, and 55% prefer that COVID should be treated as an endemic disease.
    And that’s what most Americans are dealing with – a disease with fatality rates like the flu…

    – Stop talking about restrictions and the unknown future ahead.
    …If DEMs focus on how bad things still are and how much worse they could get, we set DEMs up as failures unable to navigate us through this.
    …DEMs RISK PAYING DEARLY for it in November. (2022).


    I suppose this will be the screed repeated ad nauseam thru the mainstream media and the often liberal biased misleading cable news networks like cnn and msnbc.

  13. Now that Ukraine is going on we don’t hear anything about Covid anymore.
    Nor do we hear about Canadian Truckers, Trudeau, US Tuckers, Inflation, Jobs, etc.
    Kind of convenient isn’t it?

  14. Ukraine is Biden’s & the DEMs kind of “Wag the Dog” by proxy –
    all the while sacrificing lives in Ukraine,
    and asking U.S. citizens to take the hit on Oil & Energy (gas prices) while he enriches Putin through Russian Oil purchases.
    (Russia is now the 3rd Largest Oil Supplier to the USA almost on par with Mexico the 2nd largest supplier of crude oil).

  15. Mr. Smith

    Regardless, it’s not that hard to just spin through his noise and move on to reading something from someone who wants to convey a message and has an opinion or idea.

    Agreed, I no longer read or reply to Mr. Freeloader, but it is important to realize that to have a valid opinion, to have a say in society, we have to give only those who have skin in the game a say. Anyone who lives their live afraid to get married, have kids, buy a house, pay their rent, start a business gets NO SAY when we are talking about opening businesses, dealing with housing, or raising kids.

    So, I randomly point out the obvious

    No one cares what he thinks and if you do, you are a fool…

  16. No One Cares about sub variants and lineages… it is just Noise to the Public.
    ALL COVID Trends show a Steady DECLINE in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths.

    ALL COVID Forecasts are for a STEEP DECLINE in Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths.
    Just to clarify the confusion and unnecessary Fearmongering spread by
    one Prolific Panic Pontificator…

    Omicron (B.1.1.529 – alias BA) accounts for 100% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
    Lineages follow the Pango nomenclature.
    B.1.1.529.1 – alias BA.1
    B.1.1.529.1.1 – alias BA1.1
    B.1.1.529.2 – alias BA.2
    B.1.1.529.2 – alias BA.3

    The Original Omicron variant tracked World-Wide (Sep 2021) is BA.1
    BA.1.1 is a closely related BA.1 sub-variant,
    and BA.2 & BA.3 are sub-variants.

    All these sub-variants are Known, Tracked and Sequenced.

    BA.1 accounts for 20.6% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
    BA.1.1 (the dominant strain since early Jan2022) accounts for 75.6% of new cases.
    BA.2 accounts for about 3.8% of new cases in the U.S.
    BA.3 accounts for a very small proportion of new cases – not statistically important.

    The predominant Omicron lineage in the United States is BA.1.1, which is descendent of the BA.1 lineage and is characterized by an additional substitution (R346K) in the spike protein.

    For the Vast Majority of people returning to normal life –
    the difference in prevalence of these variants & sub-variants means
    Nil, Null, Nothing and Not None.
    The Real Issue is Freeing the Children from Ineffective and Harmful Masking Mandates in Schools,
    imposed by Gov Newsom and Teacher Unions…

    Children should NOT be Forced to be masked for hours upon hours in school or outside.

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