Bay Area health officials again urge wearing masks indoors, COVID-19 rates highest in California

SAN FRANCISCO – As COVID-19 case rates rise, health officials in the Bay Area again urged people Friday to take precautions, including wearing masks indoors.

In a statement signed by health officials in all nine Bay Area counties, along with Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties and the city of Berkeley, he urged people to wear masks indoors, have the tests on hand and make sure they are up to date with COVID-19. 19 vaccinations.

“The grim milestone of 1 million COVID deaths in the United States underscores the need for continued vigilance against the virus,” health officials said.

As of Friday, officials said the Bay Area has the highest infection rate in California, with increases in reported cases, virus levels in sewage and hospitalizations. With home tests widely available, actual case rates are higher.

The latest surge is being driven by highly contagious Omicron sub-variants.

“With the rise in COVID-19 cases in San Francisco, people are at elevated risk of contracting COVID-19 right now and we urge you to take personal protective measures against the virus,” said Dr. Susan Philip , San Francisco health official. “People who are at high risk for severe illness or who are in close contact with someone at high risk need to be especially vigilant as we get through this current surge in cases.”

In San Francisco, officials with the city’s Department of Public Health said hospitalizations are rising but remained relatively low compared to previous surges. The city’s vaccination rate is 84%.

In Alameda County, meanwhile, health officials said daily reported cases reached levels seen during last year’s Delta variant wave, but cases remained well below Omicron’s surge over the winter and hospitalizations have shown “modest increases” so far.

“If you’ve recently decided not to wear a mask indoors, now is a good time to start wearing one again,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss.

On the San Mateo County Peninsula, Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow said, “We emphasize that this is a time for everyone to take advantage of whatever protective measures they can.”

Morrow stressed that the county was not considering a local health order to again require mask wearing indoors.

Along with the above recommendations, health officials urged people to stay home when sick, get tested right away, and hold outdoor gatherings in well-ventilated spaces or outdoors.

For people who are likely to get very sick from COVID-19, medications are available and they can talk to their doctor if they test positive.

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