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September 22, 2021

County health officer reissues indoor face covering mandate

Highly contagious Delta variant resulting in high cases, hospitalizations

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—With the increase of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the highly contagious Delta variant, the Santa Cruz County Health Officer is issuing a Health Order, effective Aug. 20 at 11:59pm, requiring all individuals to wear a face covering when in indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

In accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the order will sunset once community transmission levels return to “Moderate” (Yellow Level), as determined by the CDC.

“While vaccination remains the best and most effective tool in preventing Covid-19, the Delta variant spreads quickly among the unvaccinated and may even be passed between vaccinated persons, although their symptoms are usually mild,” Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel said. “Face coverings will provide added protection until everyone is able to be vaccinated, especially children.”

To help assure compliance, all businesses and governmental entities must require employees to wear masks and post signage that is clearly visible and easy-to-read at all entry points for indoor settings, informing the public of the mask requirement.

Those at home or working in a closed room or office alone or with members of their household do not have to wear a mask, and masks are not required during indoor activities where they cannot be worn such as eating, drinking, swimming, showering in a fitness facility, or obtaining medical or cosmetic services.

Signage is available in Public Health’s Signs/Media Library.

While masking is a helpful tool to control spread during the Delta surge, getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from infection, hospitalization, or death, a county representative stated in a press release. 

For information on the vaccine and a list of vaccine providers including local pop-up clinics, go here. For local information on Covid-19, go here or call (831) 454-4242 between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday.

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