(breitbart) – Santa Cruz County in California issued a mask mandate for all indoor settings, including private homes, ahead of the holiday season.
The mandate went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on November 21 and requires “all individuals to wear a face covering when indoors regardless of vaccination status.”
“Unfortunately, a potential winter surge appears to be a significant threat to the health and safety of our community,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel in the announcement. “As we look forward to spending time with those we love during the holidays, it is important to protect vulnerable friends and family members by wearing a mask indoors.
The mandate requires masks for private homes when “non-household members” are in attendance.
“Those working in a closed room or office alone or with members of their household do not have to wear a mask, and masks are not required during indoor activities where they cannot be worn safely such as eating, drinking, swimming, showering in a fitness facility, or obtaining medical or cosmetic services,” the mandate states.
The requirement also applies to businesses and government entities as signage must be posted at entry points to notify the public of the mandate and requires employees wear masks.
The order remains effective until it is “rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer, taking into account hospitalizations, variants of concern, case and vaccination rates.”
From November 16 through November 22, Santa Cruz County reported 242 new cases with a rate of 88.58 cases per 100,000 people, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC places the county in the “substantial” community transmission category.
In terms of vaccination, 70.8 percent of the county is fully inoculated against the virus while 79.9 percent of county residents have received at least one shot, according to the CDC.
Newel encouraged those who are unvaccinated to receive the jab and emphasized boosters for those who are already vaccinated.
“Everyone who has not been vaccinated should get their first dose as soon as possible, and anyone who was vaccinated more than six months ago should seek out a booster,” Newel stated in the announcement.
On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsome (D) emphasized mask-wearing and vaccinations ahead of Thanksgiving. He highlighted 27 states that have endured a ten percent increase in positive cases over the previous week, according to NBC Bay Area.
“Ask the governor of Michigan (or) Colorado how they are doing,” Newsom said, per the outlet. “States are struggling because people are taking down their guard or claiming ‘mission accomplished.’… I don’t want to see that happen here in California.”