Since several respiratory viruses are in circulation this winter and COVID-19 incidence and hospitalizations are increasing in California, some health officials are once again advising wearing a mask.
The Health and Human Services Agency made its mask recommendation for adults 2 years of age and older in indoor public areas public on Tuesday in Yolo County. As evidenced by wastewater testing, the flu, respiratory syncytial virus, and COVID have all been spreading more and more recently. Since there are numerous viruses in the air, the EPA is looking at cumulative transmission levels. Initially, Yolo County followed masking guidelines based on low, medium, and high COVID levels. RSV and the flu travel via respiratory systems, just as COVID.
Sacramento County continues to adhere to the low, medium, and high community level mask recommendations as forth by the California Department of Public Health. According to the CDPH, masking is optional when levels are "low." The department encourages persons who are more likely to contract a serious illness to cover their faces in indoor public settings. People at lower risk are encouraged to think about masking in crowded indoor public venues due to the "medium" level of danger. It is advised that those who are more vulnerable wear them. The department advises masks in indoor public spaces for those at low risk when the region is at a "high" level and highly advises it for those at higher risk.
Sacramento County is currently at a "medium" level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Wednesday. With this, the CDC also advises those who are at a high risk for developing a serious illness to consult their doctor about safety measures, and those who have symptoms, have tested positive for COVID, or have come into contact with a COVID-positive person should wear a mask. The counties of Yolo, Placer, and El Dorado are likewise at a medium level.