Marin County 1st in Bay Area to lose mask mandate

Marin County will be the first in the Bay Area to lose its mask mandate on Monday at noon.

A new health order put out by the county's Department of Health showed that Marin County met three critical marks for limiting the spread of COVID last week. Vaccinations rates are above 80%; hospitalization rates are low; and the county spent 21 consecutive days in the CDC's moderate level of community spread. 

Some say they may take an extra minute though to drop the indoor face coverings. 

"I'm going to be cautious in large crowds and I might still choose to wear my mask," said Ed Davis of San Anselmo. "But I'm just happy it seems like things are starting to get back to normal.

Others are excited.

"I think if we go back to no masks... everything will go back to how it was... and everything will be much better," said Ricardo Gariday. 

"This will align with counties that have no local mandate. This includes Santa Cruz (which lifted their local mandate a few weeks ago) and Solano (which never had a local mandate)," said Dr. Matthew Willis, Marin County's health officer.  

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California's state mandate will still be in place so that means places like schools and state government buildings will require masks. Businesses and organizations within the county will also have the option to enforce its own masking rules. 

In San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties, as of Monday, people can lose the masks indoors if the settings are private and not open to the general public and the business, employer or religious group verifies everyone is vaccinated indoors. 

The CDC still urges vaccinated individuals to continue wearing a mask.

And businesses and organizations in Marin County still have the option to enforce their own masking rules.