Mendocino County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Andrew Coren confirmed with us yesterday that he is feeling “reassured by the recent fall in cases and some better hospital availability” pointing him towards changing Mendocino County’s requirement of indoor masks to “strongly recommended.”
With the potential of Mendocino County’s indoor masking mandate being rescinded, Dr. Coren said he will be watching the Omicron BA2 variant “closely”, but believes “our community has learned a lot how to protect ourselves without this mandate.”
Dr. Coren emphasized that according to the Center for Disease Control, Mendocino County is still an area of HIGH RISK, meaning masking indoors is recommended. “Masks are highly effective at preventing diseases including Covid, flu, and many others. Let’s get this messaging out correctly so more people will think about masking appropriately.”
According to the CDC, “people may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear masking.
Communities characterized as “high risk”, the CDC encourages residents to consider the following interventions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
- Wear a mask indoors in public
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
- Get tested if you have symptoms
- Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illenss.
Dr. Coren’s consideration of removing indoor masking came the same day that the State of California announced that on March 11, 2021, indoor masking in K-12 schools will move from required to “strongly recommended.”
As school staff, students, and parents contemplate this shift in policy, Dr. Coren told us these evolving public health orders represent a “transition toward individuals taking responsibility for protecting themselves, loved ones, and the community without the need for mandates.”
Ukiah Unified School District told the community in a post yesterday evening that their policies would not be stricter than either the county or the state saying, “At no point in time have we created stricter guidance than our county and state, nor have we put Ukiah Unified at risk by going outside of the guidelines and requirements to implement our own policies.”
With the new era of self-responsibility on the horizon, Ukiah Unified School District told its community, “This new chapter is focused on continuing the mitigation strategies we are all familiar with – monitoring symptoms, testing, high-quality ventilation, etc. – with a great deal of focus on personal responsibility and respect.”
- Mendocino County— Now One of Only Three California Counties to Maintain the Indoor Masking Mandate
- And Then There Was One—Mask Mandates Ease Across California’s Rural Northwest Except in Mendocino County
- Mendocino County’s Indoor Mask Mandate Will Remain— Rescinding It ‘Would Be Inviting Problems’, Says Public Health Officer