How have mask mandates impacted the Bay Area?

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Is the indoor mask mandate having an impact on a reduction in COVID-19 cases here in the Bay Area? 

It has been a few weeks since several counties in the Bay Area issued masks mandates in some indoor settings. The question is, is there a direct connection to a decrease in COVID-19 cases during that time frame?

“It is always difficult to tie one intervention to a change like this. In our county, we had about 230 patients with COVID in local hospitals a couple of weeks ago. Now we are down to about 190. That is a pretty significant decrease,” said Contra Costa health services officer Dr. Chris Farnitano.

Starting August 3rd, when the mask mandate took effect, neighboring Alameda and Santa Clara counties saw a consistent pattern of cases rising through mid-August and a gradual decline as the month came to an end.

There has also been a decrease in COVID cases in Solano County.

However, Solano County health administrator Dr. Jayleen Richards says the decrease can’t be because of an indoor mask mandate. Solano County doesn’t have one.

He says it may be more a reflection of an increase in people getting vaccinated.

“Over the past couple of weeks, we actually had quite a few people get vaccinated because the fact that we didn’t implement the mandate to them showed that the vaccine is effective. So, that helped them get past their hesitancy.”

However, both health officials agree that wearing a mask is a proven method to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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