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11 San Francisco Bay Area counties to lift indoor mask order

February 10, 2022 GMT
FILE - Juan Avellan, center, and others wear masks while working out in an indoor class at a Hit Fit SF gym amid the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on Nov. 24, 2020. Eleven San Francisco Bay Area counties will lift their mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor public settings beginning Feb. 16, 2022, when the state ends its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people, officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 8. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
FILE - Juan Avellan, center, and others wear masks while working out in an indoor class at a Hit Fit SF gym amid the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on Nov. 24, 2020. Eleven San Francisco Bay Area counties will lift their mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor public settings beginning Feb. 16, 2022, when the state ends its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people, officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 8. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
FILE - Juan Avellan, center, and others wear masks while working out in an indoor class at a Hit Fit SF gym amid the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on Nov. 24, 2020. Eleven San Francisco Bay Area counties will lift their mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor public settings beginning Feb. 16, 2022, when the state ends its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people, officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 8. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
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FILE - Juan Avellan, center, and others wear masks while working out in an indoor class at a Hit Fit SF gym amid the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on Nov. 24, 2020. Eleven San Francisco Bay Area counties will lift their mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor public settings beginning Feb. 16, 2022, when the state ends its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people, officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 8. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
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FILE - Juan Avellan, center, and others wear masks while working out in an indoor class at a Hit Fit SF gym amid the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco on Nov. 24, 2020. Eleven San Francisco Bay Area counties will lift their mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor public settings beginning Feb. 16, 2022, when the state ends its indoor masking requirement for vaccinated people, officials announced Tuesday, Feb. 8. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Eleven San Francisco Bay Area counties will lift their mask requirements for vaccinated people in most indoor public settings beginning Feb. 16, when the state also ends its indoor masking requirement for those vaccinated against the coronavirus, officials announced Tuesday.

Unvaccinated people over age 2 will continue to be required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. Everyone will still have to wear a mask in schools, public transportation, nursing homes and other congregate living facilities, officials in the Bay Area counties said.

The counties affected are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma. Santa Clara County, the most populous in the region with almost 2 million people, won’t lift its mask mandate next week, said Dr. Sara Cody, the county’s director of public health.

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She said the county will drop the mandate when COVID-19 hospitalizations “are low and stable” and the seven-day average of newly confirmed infections per day is at or below 550 for at least a week.

Sonoma County’s Health Officer, Dr. Sundari Mase, said they had “weathered the worst of the omicron surge.”

“But let’s make no mistake: the pandemic is not over,” Mase said. “While wearing a mask indoors is no longer mandatory for people who are vaccinated, it remains a smart and simple way to protect yourself and the people around you.”