SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Health officers from 12 counties on Friday doubled down on their recommendations that everyone exercise Covid-19 safety precautions, including wearing a mask indoors and staying up to date on vaccinations.
The announcement comes as cases of highly contagious Omicron sub-variants and hospitalizations continue to rise in the Bay Area, which has the highest rates in the state, said County spokesperson Jason Hoppin.
The urgency of the recommendations also comes as the U.S. surpasses 1 million deaths from Covid-19.
Actual case rates are thought to be higher than those reported, because of widespread use of home tests.
“There’s a lot of COVID out there right now, so it’s time to take more precautionary measures to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Gail Newel.
Although not required, masking is strongly recommended by the California Department of Public Health for most public indoor settings.
Doctors and health officials say wearing higher-quality masks such as N95, KN95 or snug-fitting surgical masks indoors is a wise choice that will help people protect their health.
Health officials say people should also stay home if they feel sick and get tested right away.
Officials also encourage getting tested after potential exposure and limiting large gatherings to well-ventilated spaces or outdoors.