SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. — San Joaquin County health officials are advising all residents, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors out of a growing concern of the more infectious COVID-19 delta variant.
The recommendation comes after the San Joaquin County Health Department reported that coronavirus infections have more than doubled since July 1. The county reported 25 infections on July 1 and 56 infections on July 20. Case rates in the county have also risen from 4.9 per 100,000 to 8.0 per 100,000 over that same time period.
“The best protection we have against COVID-19 is vaccination. Masking provides an additional layer of protection for both the wearer and those around them. We know fully vaccinated people are well protected even from the Delta variant and are unlikely to experience severe disease,” San Joaquin County health officer Dr. Maggie Park said. “But they can still get and transmit COVID. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending the wearing of masks indoors for everyone in settings like grocery stores, retail shops, and theaters.”
On July 15, the health department said it was not prepared to issue a masking recommendation but that things could change “as the situation warrants.” That situation appears to have arrived.
According to the health department, 48% of San Joaquin County residents age 12 and up are fully vaccinated.