Louisiana and seven San Francisco Bay Area counties will mandate that people wear masks indoors starting this week, while New York City officials are recommending that residents do so to curb rising Covid-19 cases.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged all people in counties with high or substantial transmission of the virus to wear masks in indoor public settings. That announcement came as health officials said they had found vaccinated people can transmit the more contagious Delta variant, which is driving much of the recent increase in Covid-19 cases.
“It’s important that this mask mandate be for vaccinated as well as unvaccinated individuals because we’re facing a much more aggressive and contagious opponent right now known as the Delta variant,” said Dr. Sundari Mase, health officer for Sonoma County, north of San Francisco.
Masks will be required starting Tuesday in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties, along with the city of Berkeley. Los Angeles and Sacramento counties have already imposed similar mask mandates. Once the Bay Area mask orders go into effect, about half of Californians will be required to wear face coverings indoors in public settings.
In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards reinstated a statewide indoor mask mandate effective Wednesday for all people 5 years or older. The mandate will last until Sept. 1 if necessary, he said at a news conference.