/Sacramento County recommends masks indoors as delta variant of COVID-19 spreads – KCRA Sacramento

Sacramento County recommends masks indoors as delta variant of COVID-19 spreads – KCRA Sacramento


Sacramento County has become the latest California county to recommend that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public places amid concerns about the fast spread of the delta variant of COVID-19. “While cases continue to surge and until vaccination rates have increased in Sacramento County, vaccinated residents are strongly recommended to wear masks in indoor settings where vaccination verification is not required and the vaccination status of others is unknown,” a Thursday release from Sacramento County said. “For example, in a workplace where employee rules allow for no masking after self-attestation of vaccination status, masks do not need to be worn by those who are vaccinated. But in a public space such as a grocery store or restaurant, masks are strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status.”Those who are unvaccinated are still supposed to be wearing masks in indoor public spaces and health officials are urging those who are unvaccinated, and face the greatest risks from COVID-19, to get the shot. Yolo and Los Angeles counties have made similar recommendations regarding masks indoors.The recommendation from Sacramento County comes amid case rate increases of COVID-19 from the highly infectious delta variant, the county said. In less than a month, Sacramento’s daily case rate has risen drastically, from 3.8 per 100,000 residents on June 20 to 10 on July 14. The county’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has jumped to 5.5% from 4.5% last week, according to a county dashboard.Sacramento County had 101 confirmed delta variant cases as of Thursday, but health officials noted that not every specimen is tested for the variants and that actual numbers may be higher.”The drastic increase in cases is concerning – as is the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Olivia Kasirye said in a prepared statement. “Our best protection against COVID-19 continues to be the vaccine. We urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, and their family and friends.” About 47% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated. By comparison, Los Angeles County has 61% of the county fully vaccinated and recommended indoor masking for all last month. Asked during a briefing with reporters Thursday whether Sacramento County should have been more aggressive with the masking recommendation prior to now, Kasirye said the “sharp uptick” in COVID-19 cases happened in recent days. | VIDEO BELOW | Sacramento County’s Dr. Kasirye answers questions after recommending masks indoorsExperts have said that some coronavirus case increases would be expected as the state opened up. But Kasirye said she had thought the case rate increase would rise by “one or two percentage points.” “The numbers are continuing to climb and our concern is the increase in the number of cases that have sequenced the delta variant,” she said. Hot spots in places like Rio Linda, North Highlands and Citrus Heights are driving the surge, Kasirye said. Issues with the vaccination effort there have included barriers that prevented some people from going to clinics, as well as a level of vaccine hesitancy that has been fueled by misinformation on social media, she said.Kasirye said there were no plans to close businesses or restrict travel again, given the large numbers of people who are vaccinated. –Daniel Macht and Brandi Cummings contributed to this story.

Sacramento County has become the latest California county to recommend that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public places amid concerns about the fast spread of the delta variant of COVID-19.

“While cases continue to surge and until vaccination rates have increased in Sacramento County, vaccinated residents are strongly recommended to wear masks in indoor settings where vaccination verification is not required and the vaccination status of others is unknown,” a Thursday release from Sacramento County said. “For example, in a workplace where employee rules allow for no masking after self-attestation of vaccination status, masks do not need to be worn by those who are vaccinated. But in a public space such as a grocery store or restaurant, masks are strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status.”

Those who are unvaccinated are still supposed to be wearing masks in indoor public spaces and health officials are urging those who are unvaccinated, and face the greatest risks from COVID-19, to get the shot.

Yolo and Los Angeles counties have made similar recommendations regarding masks indoors.

The recommendation from Sacramento County comes amid case rate increases of COVID-19 from the highly infectious delta variant, the county said.

In less than a month, Sacramento’s daily case rate has risen drastically, from 3.8 per 100,000 residents on June 20 to 10 on July 14. The county’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has jumped to 5.5% from 4.5% last week, according to a county dashboard.

Sacramento County had 101 confirmed delta variant cases as of Thursday, but health officials noted that not every specimen is tested for the variants and that actual numbers may be higher.

“The drastic increase in cases is concerning – as is the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Olivia Kasirye said in a prepared statement. “Our best protection against COVID-19 continues to be the vaccine. We urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, and their family and friends.”

About 47% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated. By comparison, Los Angeles County has 61% of the county fully vaccinated and recommended indoor masking for all last month.

Asked during a briefing with reporters Thursday whether Sacramento County should have been more aggressive with the masking recommendation prior to now, Kasirye said the “sharp uptick” in COVID-19 cases happened in recent days.

| VIDEO BELOW | Sacramento County’s Dr. Kasirye answers questions after recommending masks indoors

Experts have said that some coronavirus case increases would be expected as the state opened up. But Kasirye said she had thought the case rate increase would rise by “one or two percentage points.”

“The numbers are continuing to climb and our concern is the increase in the number of cases that have sequenced the delta variant,” she said.

Hot spots in places like Rio Linda, North Highlands and Citrus Heights are driving the surge, Kasirye said.

Issues with the vaccination effort there have included barriers that prevented some people from going to clinics, as well as a level of vaccine hesitancy that has been fueled by misinformation on social media, she said.

Kasirye said there were no plans to close businesses or restrict travel again, given the large numbers of people who are vaccinated.

–Daniel Macht and Brandi Cummings contributed to this story.

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