San Mateo County is now recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask indoors. The joint announcement with eight other Bay Area jurisdictions came on Friday in response to an uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the more transmissible Delta variant.

While COVID-19 vaccinations have proven effective against the variant, the new recommendation advises all residents to mask up indoors to protect those who remain unvaccinated.

“The epidemic is spreading faster in communities because the virus is more contagious,” Louise Rogers, chief of San Mateo County Health, wrote in a press release. “The good news is that the vaccines are effective against the Delta variant.”

San Mateo County has seen a notable increase in cases, up from a dozen cases per day to around 30 cases per day. Health Deputy Chief Srija Srinivasan said hospitalizations and deaths remain low. The Delta variant now makes up the majority of new cases across the county, state and nation.

Although masking can be effective to prevent the spread of the disease, Srinivasan and other local health leaders said vaccines are the most reliably effective way to prevent contracting and spreading COVID-19. Deputy Health Officer Curtis Chan said at a recent county Board of Supervisors meeting that 95 percent of hospitalizations and deaths in the Bay Area have been among unvaccinated residents. That’s why their biggest concern is among residents who aren’t yet vaccinated and closing the vaccination gap in the most at-risk communities.

The overall vaccination rate in the county sits at 89.3 percent of people 16 years and older, as compared to 77.3 percent in communities that are the most vulnerable to the spread of the disease.

Chan said on Tuesday that County Health is focused on creating consistent and reliable neighborhood vaccination sites that are well-advertised for residents who are less eager to get vaccinated. According to Srinivasan, some residents are still worried that their personal information, including their immigration status, might be compromised if they get the vaccine — even though personal medical information is confidential and highly protected.

Friday's announcement asks people to mask-up when indoors in public settings. It is not a requirement, however. According to the county’s press release, Bay Area Health Officers will revisit the recommendation in the coming weeks in response to new data.

(9) comments

Zack B

Yes, fully vaccinated and no masks are the current CDC recommendation. But here are a few things to consider in light of the masking request.

1. Fully vaccinated means that ON AVERAGE you are 95% protected [Pzifer and Moderna] [YMMV]. This means you still can be infected and become sick or you can become a carrier and spread the virus to others.

2. There is approximately 11 percent of the population of Half Moon Bay are not vaccinated because they are under 12 years of age and for whom there is no vaccine.

3. Half Moon Bay is 83.5% vaccinated [those over 12 years of age] leaving another 16.5% who have yet to get vaccinated, or are hesitant to get vaccinated, or are vaccine deniers who will not get vaccinated.

So, pitch in for your fellow citizens, for your family and friend, and for yourself.

Egok

Rational thought and compassion....love this. Provocative to see 'Dr' Morrows name's not associated with this article😂😅😜

John Charles Ullom

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-elvis-got-americans-to-accept-the-polio-vaccine/

John Charles Ullom

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/horrific-2-unvaccinated-covid-patients-require-lung-transplant-partial-lung-n1274102

Bayside Bob

So does this mean that the 3 major vaccines are ineffective against the variant or they don't know and have no meaningful answer?

macbro

"95 percent of hospitalizations and deaths in the Bay Area have been among unvaccinated residents." It means it is almost entirely unvaccinated who are getting sick. Vaccinations are 95%+ effective. Last year's flu vaccine was only about 40% effective, just for a little prospective

michelada

The article says that 95% of hospitalizations are unvaccinated people. So no, it doesn’t mean that at all.

drphilmarshall

From what I've read it seems as though the vaccines are about as effective against the delta variant as the original virus. Johnson & Johnson measured as lasting longest, Pfizer looking at putting out a booster shot, less known about Moderna. This was a helpful summary, I thought: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/delta-variant-what-we-know-about-the-efficacy-of-covid-vaccines/2427527/

Barbarino

No. No vaccine is perfect, but these are extremely effectice

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