According to one report, the Bay Area has the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in California.
So twelve Bay Area health officials have emphasized the importance of taking safety precautions, including the continued use of facemasks indoors, as the region experiences a new surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
The current wave is fueled by highly contagious Omicron subvariants. Bay Area counties are seeing increases in reported cases, sewer virus levels and hospitalizations.
However, it is believed that infection figures could be much higher than reported, due to the widespread use of home tests.
In light of this, Bay Area health officials reiterated their continued strong support for people to continue to wear masks indoors, to have tests on hand, and to make sure they are up to date on vaccinations or receive boosters when eligible.
"While San Mateo County is not currently considering implementing a local health order to require the use of facemasks indoors, we emphasize that this is a time for everyone to take advantage of every protective measure they can," said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County Health Officer.
And the fact is that, after the president Joseph Biden reported this week that the country had reached one million deaths due to COVID-19, specialists stressed the need for continued vigilance against the virus.
Although not mandatory, the California Department of Public Health strongly recommends the use of facemasks for most indoor public settings, and health officials indicated that those of type N95 or KN95, as well as well-fitting surgical masks in such settings, is a good option that will help people protect their health.
In addition, they stressed that vaccines remain the best protection against severe disease and death from COVID-19.
Health officials say people should also stay home if they feel sick and get tested right away.
They also recommend testing after possible exposure and limiting large gatherings to well-ventilated spaces or outdoors.
For people who are more likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 infection, they explained that there are medications available that can reduce their chances of serious illness and death, so they called for consulting with their health care provider immediately if they test positive.
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