Santa Cruz County to reimplement mask mandate that includes private homes

Santa Cruz County, California has reimplemented an indoor mask mandate. This includes inside private homes.

The mandate comes as the number of Covid-19 cases are increasing as the weather is getting colder. Indoor businesses and offices must require guests to wear masks, as well as have signage posted reminding people of the regulation. Residents have also been instructed to wear masks while they have visitors in their homes. The county announced the new mandate on Friday and it went into effect Sunday at 11:59 PM.

Dr. Gail Newel, the county’s health officer, stated, “Unfortunately, a potential winter surge appears to be a significant threat to the health and safety of our community. As we look forward to spending time with those we love during the holidays, it is important to protect vulnerable friends and family members by wearing a mask indoors.”

Towards the end of summer, Newel imposed an indoor mask mandate for the county when there was an increase in cases, particularly those of the Delta variant. The mandate was lifted September 29, once the county reached the “moderate” tier per the CDC’s guidelines. Now, the county is in the “substantial” tier.

Exceptions to the mandate include while eating, drinking, swimming, showering at a gym, or during medical and cosmetic services which require its removal. The county said the requirement is indefinite and will be rescinded by Newel when appropriate.

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