With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increasing as we move into the holidays and winter months, the Santa Cruz County Health Officer is issuing a Health Order, effective Nov. 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., requiring all individuals to wear a face mask, or other covering, when indoors regardless of vaccination status.
“Unfortunately, a potential winter surge appears to be a significant threat to the health and safety of our community,” said Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel. “As we look forward to spending time with those we love during the holidays, it is important to protect vulnerable friends and family members by wearing a mask indoors. Everyone who has not been vaccinated should get their first dose as soon as possible, and anyone who was vaccinated more than six months ago should seek out a booster.”
Masks must be worn in private settings, including your home, when non-household members are present.
To help assure compliance, all businesses and governmental entities must require employees to wear masks and post signage that is clearly visible and easy-to-read at all entry points for indoor settings informing the public of the mask requirement.
Those working in a closed room or office alone or with members of their household do not have to wear a mask, and masks are not required during indoor activities where they cannot be worn safely such as eating, drinking, swimming, showering in a fitness facility, or obtaining medical or cosmetic services.
The face covering order will remain in effect until is rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing by the Health Officer, taking into account hospitalizations, variants of concern, case and vaccination rates.
For information on COVID-19 vaccine and a list of vaccine providers including local pop-up clinics, visit www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirusvaccine.