East Bay bowling alley flouts indoor mask mandate, says everyone has 'right to freedom'

Some businesses are already defying an indoor mask mandate that went into effect in seven Bay Area counties on Tuesday.

Managers at Danville Bowl said they won't be enforcing the mandate, despite a rise in coronavirus infections around the Bay Area.

"We believe everyone has the right to freedom and not constant retracting restrictions from the government," the establishment said in a Facebook post.

The bowling alley said patrons who wish to wear their masks inside can do so, but it's not required.

"The choice is up to YOU, as it always should have been. Not to mention if you’re vaccinated you should have nothing to worry about anyways," the post continued.

However, breakthrough COVID infections can occur, and the highly-contagious delta variant does pose risks to vaccinated people.

The bowling alley's decision drew mixed reaction online, with some people praising them for rejecting the mask orders.

"I applaud you for taking a stance, not everyone is living their life in fear. But until the day comes when we lose our freedoms, we still have a choice," a woman commented under the post.

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Added another, "Thanks Danville Bowl. I appreciate you guys making the most of a terrible situation. It's been a tough year, but getting back into the league has been a welcomed distraction from all the craziness."

Others criticized the bowling alley for its position and jeopardizing people's health.

"As a proprietor of a bowling alley it seems that one of your biggest responsibilities should be to ensure the safety of your patrons and follow the advice of the medical and science professionals," one man wrote. "When I want expert advice about what bowling balls to use or shoes to wear I’ll come to you and when I want medical advice I’ll listen to the medical experts."

The indoor mask order covers the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the city of Berkeley. It applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status.

Local public health leaders said the order is in place indefinitely and ending the mask mandate depends on hospitalization rates of new cases.