Alameda County ends short-term mask mandate, citing improving coronavirus conditions

Three weeks after becoming the first California county restore a mask mandate Amid coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in most indoor public settings, Alameda County has rescinded the order, citing an improvement in the situation.

The move is effective at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, as the San Francisco Bay Area’s second most populous county moves from high to moderate. COVID-19 Community Transmission Level As defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That agency recommends public indoor masking for high tier counties, but not for middle tier counties.

in a statement On Friday, county officials did not directly link the fate of the local mask order to CDC levels, but instead said they closely monitored local trends and determined the mandate could now be lifted.

“Conditions have stabilized following a steady increase in case reports and hospitalizations,” County Health Officer Dr Nicholas Moss said. “While we expect a continued impact from COVID-19 in the coming weeks, and masks are strongly recommended, it is appropriate for health officials to withdraw from the masking order at this time.”

In the seven-day period ending Thursday, Alameda County reported an average of 858 new coronavirus cases per day – down 9% from two weeks ago, according to statistics Compiled by Times. 141 coronavirus positive patients till Thursday were hospitalized Countywide, including 15 in intensive care.

Alameda’s new mask mandate, which took effect June 3, marks the first time a California county has re-issued such an order. Omicron growth fades since early winter,

Although transmission has remained high since then, Alameda County ultimately proved to be an exception rather than a precursor. No other large county followed its lead.

Even with orders to be lifted soon, Alameda County, like all of California, strongly recommends public indoor masking.

“Masks work and are still an important tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, especially when rates are high,” Moss said. “We strongly encourage everyone to continue wearing masks to protect themselves and others from COVID.”

Health officials in Los Angeles County have said they will reimpose a public indoor mask mandate should the region drop to a high COVID-19 community level for two weeks in a row. that category, but the worst CDC’s three-tier scale, This indicates not only significant community transmission but also that hospital systems may be strained by coronavirus-positive patients.

Based on current trends in hospitalizations, LA County likely won’t reach that range until mid-July.

However, this projection is “based on the assumption of a constant rate of growth that does not change, and is virtually impossible to predict,” said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the LA County Department of Public Health.

“We are cautiously optimistic that we can move forward and, best of all worlds, we will start to see a decline in hospitalizations as soon as possible,” he told reporters on Thursday. “But it’s hard to predict.”

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