Berkeley health officer issues indoor mask mandate effective Aug. 3

photo of mask requirement sign
Eliana Marcu/File
On Aug. 3, all Berkeley residents will be required to wear a mask in indoor settings. Exceptions will be made for those with impairments or medical conditions and those participating in indoor religious gatherings.

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All Berkeley residents, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear masks in indoor public settings beginning Aug. 3 under an order issued Monday by city public health officer Dr. Lisa Hernandez.

In addition, businesses and other indoor venue operators must require all patrons to wear masks and post clear signage indicating the masking requirements, according to the order. The city joins seven Bay Area counties, including Alameda County, in issuing an indoor masking order, according to a city press release.

“We are deeply fortunate to have vaccines that so profoundly reduce the risk of severe illness and death from the newest, more dangerous variant,” Hernandez said in the press release. “Adding a face covering when indoors with others, gives us all an easy, familiar and powerful tool.”

The order allows for certain exceptions, however, including guidelines for people who are working alone, those with impairments or medical conditions and those participating in indoor religious gatherings if necessary.

Alongside guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health, the order also recommends that people wear masks in indoor private settings with multiple households.

Face coverings will also be required in all UC Berkeley buildings beginning Aug. 3, according to a campuswide email from UC Berkeley’s Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. The email also encouraged socially distancing and avoiding eating indoors.

“While we’re seeing an increase in breakthrough infections among the vaccinated, the worst effects of the delta variant are showing up in the unvaccinated,” the email reads. “We urge anyone who is not vaccinated to get vaccinated immediately.”

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