MARIN COUNTY, Calif. - Marin County is relaxing its masking rules now that it has achieved the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's "moderate transmission status. The North Bay county has exceeded three weeks at this level, has low COVID hospitalizations and at least 80% of its residents are fully vaccinated.
At noon Monday, Marin became the first Bay Area county to lift indoor mask regulations at bars, restaurants and grocers if the proprietors allow it.
Masks are still required on public transit and health care facilities.
"I think it's probably good that we can get back to a semi-normal life. The county is almost 90% vaccinated," said Marin Resident Greg Colyer.
"Half the burden is remembering your mask. That's why I wear this kind because I can walk out of the house and, you know, not having to worry about remembering, ‘Did I leave it?'" said Scott Davis.
For some folks, the mask has proven it works now and for the future. "I plan on continuing wearing my mask in public places. I am vaccinated. But, at this point, better safe than sorry," said Cathy Larson.
"I'm gonna keep mine on. I'm 68-years-old. I don't want to take any chances. I've opened up a little bit, but I'm not quite ready to go out in the public," said Wayne Raburn.
As of Monday, Alameda and Contra Costa counties joined San Francisco and Sonoma counties in lifting mask mandates for those fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated folks can also go, unmasked, into many places such as meeting halls, offices, higher education classes and the like subject to two conditions: The locations' operators must allow unmasking and no more than 100 regular attendees can be present at one time.
In Solano County, there never was a mask mandate. But its cities like Vallejo and Benicia, do have rules similar to those in San Francisco.
In Santa Clara, San Mateo and Napa counties masks are still required indoors regardless of vaccination status.
If you’re travelling, know the mask rules before you go. In Hawaii, masks are always required indoors. In Mexico, masks are required indoors. In Los Angeles and San Diego counties, everyone must mask in all indoor public settings. In Palm Springs, face coverings are required indoors. Proof of plus a vaccination or negative COVID tests are required for entry at bars and restaurants.
"We are both lucky and can be proud of the fact that most people follow the science and have done what is necessary.," said Kim
Now, Marin's new goal: avoid backsliding.