Santa Clara County is looking ahead to a mask-optional future on Wednesday, March 2.
Whether or not masks do become optional will be based on the county’s 7-day rolling average of new Covid-19 cases. Today, February 24, that average was 501. If it stays below 550 for 7 days in a row, the County’s indoor masking requirement will be lifted. The 7-day rolling average has been the most stubborn box to check on the path to optional masking; the other 2 requirements were 80% vaccination (check) and a low Covid hospitalization rate (check).
Still, the County will continue to strongly recommend masks, whether or not people are vaxxed. The State, meanwhile, is a different matter. Per State rules, unvaxxed people must wear masks when indoors in public. Other places where the State mandates indoor masking for all, vaxxed or unvaxxed, include schools; jails; public transportation; long-term care, childcare, & healthcare facilities; shelters; and daycare centers.
Public Health Director of Santa Clara County Dr. Sara Cody said in a statement, “Our COVID-19 hospitalizations are low and stable, and today we have met the new case metric as well. These data are very encouraging, and I anticipate that our steady downward trend in cases will continue. If this continues, we will be able to safely transition from a requirement for indoor masking to a strong recommendation on March 2.
“Sticking to our metrics has helped to ensure that everyone in our community is protected –the elderly, young children, essential workers, and those who are immunocompromised – as our community transmission settles down.”