NOVATO, Calif. - Beginning on Wednesday, lots of people heading into doctor's offices or hospitals across the Bay Area will be required to mask up.
In some parts of California, masks will be required in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities in an effort to limit the spread of RSV, the flu and COVID. The mandate will last until the end of flu season in March.
Marin County and Santa Clara counties require everyone who enters medical facilities to mask up. Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, and Sonoma counties will require health care workers to mask up in patient care areas.
In California, COVID positivity rates were on the rise starting in July, and peaked in late August. According to the Mercury News, wastewater data shows medium levels of COVID in all of Santa Clara County’s sewer sheds at the end of October, down from high transmission range over the last two months.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong told KTVU medical professional don't know what is going to happen during this flu season, so they're opting to take a precautious approach.
Though, not everyone in the health care industry agrees.
"We're over it," one hospital worker told KTVU who wished to remain anonymous. "Our patients we still dont know if they're coming in with ovid, but it doesn't scare me."
Though many patients, including Patti Bowman, who is battling cancer, said masks can be life-saving to some.
"I appreciate it by wearing masks people cut down on the germs for people like us who have to be very careful.
Health officials across the state are also encouraging anyone above the age of 6 months to get the latest COVID 19 vaccine, flu shot and for vulnerable populations the RSV vaccine.
Also, check your stockpile of rapid COVID tests as they do expire.