Bay Area mask mandate: What you need to know

People line up to board a cable car at the Powell Street turnaround plaza in San Francisco on Monday.
San Francisco’s iconic cable cars were rolling again Monday, the same day health officials announced people will have to wear masks indoors again because of a COVID-19 resurgence.
(Associated Press)

Concerned about new COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated individuals, seven Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley issued a new mask mandate Monday for gathering indoors.

Who is covered

Health officers from San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties and the city of Berkeley said that the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus requires that all businesses have their customers wear masks indoors. Restaurants and bars will remain open, but patrons inside must wear masks when not eating or drinking, the health officers said.

When it takes effect

The health officers said the new mandate, which takes effect Tuesday, was needed because of escalating cases of COVID-19, primarily among those who have not been inoculated, and the fact that even vaccinated people may spread the virus.

Hospitalization status

Most people now hospitalized for COVID-19 in the Bay Area had not received the vaccine, but fully vaccinated elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions are also being hospitalized, the officers said. In response to questions, the officers said they continue to support the reopening of schools as long as students and staff are masked. The officers said many of those now hospitalized with COVID-19 are in their 40s, 50s and early 60s because the older population is largely vaccinated.