Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
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Covid-19 In US: California Exempts San Francisco From Indoor Mask Rule

Covid-19 in US: The authorities have said that in San Francisco they will continue to allow fully vaccinated people to remove their masks in gyms and workplaces while its overall masking mandate remains in effect.

Signs for Covid-19 prevention are posted at an outdoor mall in Los Angeles, USA. AP

California is exempting San Francisco from a rule that takes effect Wednesday requiring all people to wear masks indoors in a bid to contain a troubling rise in new coronavirus cases.

San Francisco will continue to allow fully vaccinated people to remove their masks in gyms and workplaces while its overall masking mandate remains in effect, the city Department of Public Health announced.

“It's a recognition of all of the thought and care that San Francisco residents have been putting into staying as safe as possible,” said Dr. Susan Philip, San Francisco's health officer.

About 86% of eligible San Francisco residents have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the public health department.

San Francisco businesses were relieved that the city can continue permitting fully vaccinated people to go maskless in some indoor locations.

“To have any disruption at all in the progress we've made over the last year and a half in getting customers back would have been devastating,” Dave Karraker, co-owner of MX3 Fitness and spokesman for the San Francisco Independent Fitness Studio Coalition, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Several other San Francisco Bay Area counties also had relaxed masking rules for vaccinated people but it wasn't immediately clear whether the state would exempt them, too.

California lifted its statewide mask mandate on June 15 for people who were vaccinated, a date that Gov. Gavin Newsom heralded as the state's grand reopening.

But health officials are worried about the spread of the new omicron COVID-19 variant, which health officials believe can spread more easily than the original and delta strains.

The virus is particularly hitting the unvaccinated.

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