SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County residents and visitors are no longer required to wear a face covering indoors.
On Wednesday morning, the county Health Services Agency released a statement that the county had moved from substantial transmission (orange) to moderate transmission (yellow) on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 data tracker. Because of this improvement, the mask mandate released by Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel Aug. 19 has been lifted.
“This does not impact face covering requirements issued by the State of California including for unvaccinated individuals, school districts, businesses, venues or organizations requiring face coverings by policy,” health officials added in their statement. “Residents are asked to continue respecting these requirements by carrying a face covering with them at all times while in public.”
Though masking is no longer required indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, it is still encouraged by the Health Services Agency.
“Face coverings and vaccinations continue to be the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and loved ones from infection,” the team states.
The CDC tracker shows that as of Wednesday the county’s testing positivity rate is 1.63%. The county’s coronavirus data dashboard depicts an active case count about half of what it was one month ago.
Additionally, in comparison with the county’s representation of the total percentage of its population vaccinated on the local dashboard, the CDC dashboard provides the percentage of Santa Cruz County’s eligible population that has been fully vaccinated: 77.4%.
In California, much of the state remains in the substantial (orange) or high (red) transmission categories. All of the counties that have reached the moderate (yellow) transmission categories are in the Bay Area or Central Coast regions, CDC’s map depicts. Sierra and Modoc counties to the north are the only counties with low (blue) transmission rates.
By the numbers
Total cases: 19,298
Active cases: 471
Current ICU hospitalizations: 2
Current hospitalizations: 10
Open ICU beds: 3
Negative tests: 193,874