FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2022
Universal Indoor Mask Requirement Expected to Transition to a Recommendation on March 2; State Indoor Masking Requirements Still Apply for Unvaccinated Individuals and in Certain Settings Regardless of Vaccination Status
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. – The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced today that the 7-day rolling average for new COVID-19 cases was 501 on February 24. This marks the first day at 550 cases or lower since updated criteria for modifying the County’s universal indoor masking mandate were announced. If the 7-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. However, even after this occurs, it is still strongly recommended for the public to wear masks when indoors in public spaces regardless of vaccination status.
In addition, the State’s rules will continue to require all unvaccinated persons to mask in indoor public settings. The State also requires 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. For information on the State’s requirements, visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx.
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. Dr. Sara Cody, Public Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara, has also confirmed the metric for COVID-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction has been met.
“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. If this continues, we will be able to safely transition from a requirement for indoor masking to a strong recommendation on March 2,” said Dr. Cody. “Sticking to our metrics 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.”
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