August 19, 2022

Bay Area says goodbye to mask-free offices and gyms

Update: On Tuesday, San Francisco was granted an exemption from the state mask rule, so…

Update: On Tuesday, San Francisco was granted an exemption from the state mask rule, so that offices and gyms where everyone is fully vaccinated do not need to require masks. Read the latest here.

People in offices and gyms in the Bay Area must mask up again starting Wednesday, after California reimposed an indoor mask mandate in public settings for all residents, regardless of their vaccination status.

The state mandate will override mask exemptions in San Francisco, Marin and all other jurisdictions in the region, local officials said.

The setback was a disappointment for many Bay Area businesses, but officials said it was necessary in light of the surge of new COVID-19 cases and the looming threat of the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Our view has always been health and safety comes first,” said Dave Karraker, co-owner of MX3 Fitness in San Francisco and spokesman for the SF Independent Fitness Studio Coalition, which represents nearly 80 neighborhood gyms.

The state rule is expected to be in place until Jan. 15, California’s Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly announced during a briefing Monday.

Vaccinated gym staff and patrons in the city were allowed to ditch face coverings in October for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/health/article/Bay-Area-says-goodbye-to-mask-free-offices-and-16699432.php