Sonoma County lifts indoor mask mandate for some groups
Sonoma County health officials on Thursday lifted the indoor mask mandate for some vaccinated groups, according to a news release.
Individuals will no longer be required to wear masks in indoor settings such as college classes, offices or religious gatherings if all are vaccinated. The change only applies to groups of 100 people or fewer who meet regularly in a location that is not accessible to the public.
Proof of a negative COVID-19 test cannot be used as a replacement for proof of vaccination, the release said.
Besides verifying the vaccination status of individuals, group organizers or employers are required to keep a list of everyone who attends the gathering.
Businesses and organizations affected by the mandate’s exemption can continue requiring everyone to wear masks regardless of vaccination status if they choose to do so.
Sonoma County health officer Dr. Sundari Mase implemented the mask mandate Aug. 3 as a response to a surge in the delta variant.
“Given that our case rate is now on the decline, it makes sense to loosen the requirement for certain stable groups of fully vaccinated people,” Mase said in the release. “But, in general, we must continue to wear our masks in most indoor settings in order to limit the spread of the virus during the coming winter months.”