Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano today announced the criteria that will be used to lift the current indoor-masking order in our county:
- The county reaches the CDC’s moderate (yellow) COVID-19 transmission tier and remains there for at least three weeks; AND
- There are fewer than 75 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county; AND
- One of the following conditions is met:
- 80% of the total population is fully vaccinated
- Eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for 5- to 11-year-olds
When these criteria are met – which is project to be at the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022 – Dr. Farnitano will lift the local masking order, which requires everyone to wear face coverings in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status. After the local masking order is lifted, unvaccinated residents will still need to wear masks in indoor public settings under the state’s face-covering order.
Other COVID-19 related health orders that are in place at that time would not be affected, including the health order related to verifying vaccination or testing status as high-risk businesses.
While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have declined recently, transmission rates remain relatively high, and it will be weeks before the order is lifted. Contra Costa County has yet to reach the CDC’s moderate (yellow) tier and remains in the higher “substantial” (orange) COVID-19 transmission tier.
The criteria were established by Dr. Farnitano in collaboration with other Bay Area health officers who enacted similar masking orders in early August as the delta variant fueled a surge in cases and hospitalizations.