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Central Coast health officials issue indoor mask use recommendation

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Health officials in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Napa counties issued a joint statement saying that they are now recommending indoor mask use in public places for everyone, not just those who are unvaccinated.

In the statement, they said the change comes as the number of COVID-19 cases rises locally and there are more reports of the Delta Variant. They also said COVID-19 hospitalizations among the unvaccinated are increasing.

They said the measure is out of an abundance of caution, and they are urging businesses to adopt making requirements for all customers entering indoor areas to make sure employees and other customers are protected. They said it is also a way to make sure unvaccinated people are wearing masks.

Workplaces will still need to follow Cal/OSHA requirements.

In June, the Delta variant made up 43% of all samples sequenced in California, but it is now responsible for 58% of new cases around the country, according to CDC data.

Health officials say fully vaccinated people are still well protected from COVID-19 infections and serious illness. They said they will look at the recommendation again in the coming weeks as they monitor transmission rates, hospitalizations, deaths and vaccination rates.

Last week, several Bay Area counties issued a similar recommendation, and Los Angeles County chose to reinstate its mask mandate.

Statewide, the positivity rate has risen to 4.1%. It has not been that high since February.

This is a developing story.

Local News / Monterey County / News / San Benito County / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories / Video

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.



  1. My words to the MoCo ‘health officials’: Screw you. And everyone who agrees with you. Outrageous.
    We followed the rules and we went out in February and got our vaccines. And now, because a bunch of illogical zealots refuse to or are too lazy or too ignorant to get vaccinated, we ALL have to suffer. Forget it! And now they officials are whining about the numbers going up. well, y’all had your chance to get vaccinated. Still do. If you DON’T want to, that IS your right…but damned if everyone else should suffer for your decision.

  2. Our Monterey county health department has been nothing but a parrot when it comes to any of these Covid rules. Dr. Moreno basically waits for another county to do something and piggybacks off of that.

    We need leadership, not leadersheep.

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