By Jondi Gumz
In Santa Cruz County, wearing a mask indoors is now recommended, not required.
The change occurred on Sept. 29, after the Centers for Disease Control updated their COVID-19 Data Tracker to show Santa Cruz County moved to moderate (yellow) community transmission — as a result the county’s face covering requirements are lifted immediately.
Then county mandated indoor face coverings on Aug. 21 after cases spurted up.
The county change does not impact face covering requirements issued by the State of California for unvaccinated individuals, school districts, businesses, venues or organizations requiring face coverings by policy.
Residents are asked to respect these requirements by carrying a face covering with them at all times while in public. For information, see covid19.ca.gov/masks-and-ppe/.
Face coverings and vaccinations continue to be the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and loved ones from infection, according Santa Cruz County officials.
Santa Cruz County is updating its COVID dashboard on Monday and Thursday, which shows 471 active cases , down from 971 in early September, and 18,614 recovered.
The 14-day metric which is updated only on Wednesdays shows 37 percent decline in cases as of Sep. 22.
The number of hospitalizations, which had been as high as 21, is at 10, including 2 in ICU beds.
The number of death had risen from 210 to 213, with all the new deaths involving men with health conditions who were unvaccinated.
For information of COVID-19 vaccination sand a list of vaccine providers including local pop-up clinics, visit www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirusvaccine. Popup clinics are scheduled for October.
As of Sept. 29, the percentage of county residents fully vaccinated was 65 percent, with 70.7 percent partly vaccinated.
For local information on COVID-19, go to www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus or or call (831) 454-4242 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.