Alameda County Reinstates Indoor Masking

A photo of surgical masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves
Some personal protective equipment including surgical masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Oakland Unified says it has plenty of PPE, but the teachers' union says that the district's current proposal in bargaining does not ensure the health and safety of students and staff. Photo by Tony Daquipa (not of OUSD's PPE).

Alameda County is reinstating an indoor masking mandate starting today, Friday, June 3, 2022. (The mandate does not apply to the City of Berkeley, which has its own health department).

“Rising COVID cases in Alameda County are now leading to more people being hospitalized and today’s action reflects the seriousness of the moment,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss in a public statement. “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.”

The county department of health also notes that based on current data, this new surge is disproportionately impacting Alameda County’s Latinx population: “…Hispanic/Latino residents now have the highest case rate in Alameda County among the largest race/ethnicity groups,” according to an announcement from Alameda County Department of Public Health.

Read the new mask mandate here, which requires indoor masking (and suggests using K94, KN95, or N95 masks for most effective protection) in most situations. Exceptions include but are not limited to children under two, people working alone in an office, when actively eating or drinking, swimming, performers, people who medical exemptions, while swimming or heavy fitness activities, to participate in religious rituals, and other situations.

Daily reported COVID-19 positive cases are more than the Delta wave last summer, with likely underreporting to the county due to at-home antigen tests.

Author Profile

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Co-Director. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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