Gail Newel breaks down the problems with a mask mandate, beginning with enforcement
While many concerned citizens in Santa Cruz County have been voicing their feeling that the mask mandate being enforced around most of the Bay Area should also be back in effect here, public health officer Gail Newel offered reasons why it isn’t happening.
While many concerned citizens in Santa Cruz County have been voicing their feeling that the mask mandate being enforced around most of the Bay Area should also be back in effect here, public health officer Gail Newel offered the following reasons why she doesn’t feel it’s necessary or practical at Thursday’s press conference.
Health officers want to to keep their focus on vaccinating as many residents as they can.
Currently, Santa Cruz County has approximately 68% fully vaccinated residents, with another 10% partially vaccinated.
Businesses can implement their own requirements.
Newel says that businesses, nonprofits and governmental entities all have their own authority to implement their own masking requirements. The county has implemented a masking requirement for all public areas of county facilities.
If people aren’t already wearing masks, enforcement wouldn’t help.
Newel believes that most Santa Cruz County residents are doing their part and adhering to the county’s indoor masking recommendations. However, she doesn’t see value in enforcing masking countywide, as those who don’t wear masks now likely wouldn’t with a regulation.
Newel encourages masking in high-exposure settings for vaccinated and unvaccinated folks.
Because the Delta variant is much more contagious than the novel coronavirus, Newel encourages masks in most indoor settings and in crowded outdoor settings. Even if you have been fully vaccinated, there is still a risk of infection; wear a mask to combat the spread and potential illness.
Check back with Lookout later for full coverage of the press conference.