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Mask mandates in health care settings return to some Bay Area counties

Some Bay Area counties starting this week have required masks again in certain indoor settings due to the resurgence of respiratory illnesses such as COVID, flu and RSV.

The mask mandates are for specific settings related to health and medical care, namely doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals.

Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Sonoma counties are requiring health care workers to mask up at work. Santa Clara County is mandating face coverings not only for health care workers but also for patients and visitors.

The mask mandates aren’t a surprising or sudden change. Earlier this year, those counties had announced they would require face coverings in response to the respiratory illness season.

After a slight summer surge, COVID-19 cases have been dropping across the state and country. In late August, the state’s test positivity rate reached 13%, its highest level since the summer of 2022, but has since dropped to 6.5% as of Oct. 27.

Many health experts, however, expect a swell in cases this winter, as has happened each year since the pandemic began.

The mandates are expected to last until spring.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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