Santa Clara County’s Indoor Mask Mandate Could End Next Week

Santa Clara County, the only Bay Area county that still has an indoor mask mandate, could drop its masking rule next week.

The county set several benchmarks for lifting the mask mandate and could meet the last one on Friday.

On Thursday, the county will meet the metric of 550 or fewer cases per day for a full week. The county already hit the target of low and stable hospitalization numbers and an 80% or higher vaccination rate.

Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties were the last in the state to keep an indoor masking requirement. Los Angeles County’s mandate will drop on Friday.

Regardless of what counties do, the state will continue requiring masking in K-12 schools, child care facilities, public transit, health care settings, shelters and jails.

Beyond that, UCSF infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said people should keep a mask handy in case they find themselves in a risky situation.

“I think the risk is definitively still there,” he said. “We’re not quite where we were even Thanksgiving time and definitely not where we were at the time of first California reopening on June 15, 2021, which means that even though I’m a boosted person, I’m still going to be very careful in a crowded indoor setting and wear my mask.”

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