County of Santa Clara Universal Indoor Mask Requirement to Transition to a Recommendation March 2

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2022

State Indoor Masking Requirements Still Apply in Certain Settings Regardless of Vaccination Status

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Today, the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department announced that all masking metrics have been met and therefore indoor masking will no longer be required beginning March 2. However, the Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health strongly recommend that the public continue to wear masks in all indoor public spaces.

The California Department of Public Health continues to require masking in higher-risk settings such as 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

“We are very encouraged by the progress we have made. We have much less COVID spreading in our community as compared to two weeks ago or even a week ago,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health for the County of Santa Clara. “While indoor masking in public spaces will no longer be required, it still makes sense to do. Wearing a mask is part of working together to protect others, especially the most vulnerable among us.”

The County discontinued local rules for schools and childcare settings in mid-2020 and has followed state guidance and rules since that time. On February 28, the State announced that universal masking requirements in these settings will be lifted after March 11, but strongly recommends individuals in these settings continue to wear a mask indoors.

While Santa Clara County has met the required masking metrics (80% of the population vaccinated, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the jurisdiction are low and stable, seven consecutive days with the seven-day rolling average of new cases at 550 or below) to transition to a strong recommendation for indoor masking, the county remains in the “medium” level of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new COVID-19 community level framework.  

Wearing a mask indoors has played an integral role in reducing COVID-19 risks for individuals, lowering the community spread of COVID-19, keeping our healthcare and hospital system manageable, and ensuring our schools remain open.

Along with providing additional protection for the most vulnerable individuals and groups, indoor masking, along with vaccines and other layered protections, provides the best defense against long COVID.

Anyone with COVID-19  symptoms should still be immediately tested. The County reminds patients of all healthcare systems that they have a right to a COVID test from their own provider if they have symptoms or have been exposed to an individual who has COVID-19. Individuals may also check www.sccfreetest.org for a participating pharmacy or a County testing site.

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County of Santa Clara Website: http://www.sccgov.org/coronavirus
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