ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Citing an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Alameda County health officials announced Thursday that mask requirements for most indoor settings will be reinstated, according to a press release. The order will begin on Friday, June 3 at 12:01 a.m. in all Alameda County cities — except the city of Berkeley which has its own local health jurisdiction.
However, mask requirements will not apply to K-12 school settings through the end of the 2021-22 school year. Masks will be required for all other settings where youth and children are present, including childcare, summer school, and youth programs.
The county’s press release did not specify in what indoor settings masking will be required. However, during the omicron surge last winter, Alameda County required masks inside gyms, fitness centers, office settings, and other similar settings, as KRON4 reported in December.
Alameda County reported that the current rate of COVID-19 cases have exceeded last summer’s delta variant wave and that it is “approaching” levels of cases during the omicron surge of last winter.
Following the omicron surge, Alameda County lifted its mask mandate in February.
“Rising COVID cases in Alameda County are now leading to more people being hospitalized and today’s action reflects the seriousness of the moment,” Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said in the press release. “We cannot ignore the data, and we can’t predict when this wave may end. Putting our masks back on gives us the best opportunity to limit the impact of a prolonged wave on our communities.”