City of Berkeley, Alameda County advise indoor mask-wearing

photo of mask requirement sign
Eliana Marcu/File
With the rise of COVID-19 cases and the delta variant, UC Berkeley is requiring that indoor campus facilities mandate mask-wearing.

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As the delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to spread across the country, the city of Berkeley and multiple counties recommended that people continue to wear masks indoors.

In addition, UC Berkeley announced that campus facilities serving students or the general public are authorized to require face coverings indoors.

New cases in Alameda County average about 110 per day, with the daily case rate crossing 6.7 per 100,000 residents, according to an Alameda County press release. In Berkeley, the case rate has nearly tripled in the last two weeks to 3.12 cases per 100,000 people daily, according to a city press release.

“After vaccination, masking is the next most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves and each other during this latest wave of infections,” said Alameda County Health Officer Nicholas Moss in the county press release. “Wearing masks, especially indoors and in crowded outdoor settings, will help us contain this more transmissible variant.”

While the recommendations are not an official health order, Berkeley health officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez urged residents to wear face coverings and get vaccinated in the press release.

In Los Angeles County, a county health order will take effect July 17 requiring all people to wear masks indoors following a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases. According to the county’s Department of Public Health, the test positivity rate grew from 0.5% June 15 to 3.7% as of July 15.

“We are fortunate to have easy and free access to these very protective vaccines, so anyone who is at least 12 years old should get their shots,” Hernandez said in the city press release. “Adding a face covering indoors for everyone is a simple act that protects us all.”

Aditya Katewa is the executive news editor. Contact him at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.