Sacramento County health officials are advising residents to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status citing concerns about the rapid spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant. The guidance, which comes as Los Angeles County reinstates an indoor mask mandate, does not match the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, or the state’s public health guidance, which says vaccinated individuals do not have to wear facial coverings.
“Due to the recent day-over-day case rate increases of COVID-19 from the highly infectious Delta variant, the Sacramento County Public Health Officer strongly recommends masking indoors,” a news release posted Thursday stated. “In less than a month, Sacramento’s daily case rate has risen drastically, from 3.8 on June 20 to 10 on July 14.”
The news release said that until the region’s vaccination rates increase and amid a rise in new cases, “vaccinated residents are strongly recommended to wear masks in indoor settings where vaccination verification is not required and the vaccination status of others is unknown.”
The news release noted that while Sacramento only has 101 confirmed cases of the Delta variant, the number may be much higher as not every positive COVID-19 specimen is tested for variant strains.
“The drastic increase in cases is concerning – as is the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated,” Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County public health officer, said. “Our best protection against COVID-19 continues to be the vaccine. We urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, and their family and friends.”
Statewide, California has fully vaccinated 60.9% of its population. Sacramento has administered 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.