Twelve Bay Area health officials on Friday recommended that people wear masks indoors amid new increases in COVID cases and hospitalizations.

According to a joint news release, the Bay Area currently has the highest COVID infection rate in California, supported by a submutant of Omicron.

Not required, but Masking is highly recommended by the California Public Health Service For most public indoor settings.

San Francisco reports that more than 60 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19, the largest rising trend in the Bay Area. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease doctor and professor of medicine at UCSF, said this is a manageable number of cases for the hospital.

“At this point, we have as much immunity as we see, but they are mostly mild and essentially our hospitalization remains low,” Gandhi said.

Bay Area health officials say wearing high-quality masks indoors, such as N95, KN95, and a snug-fitting surgical mask, is a wise choice to help protect people’s health.

“If you recently chose not to wear a mask in a public place indoors, it’s a good time to resume,” Dr. George Han, Deputy Health Officer of Santa Clara County, said in a statement. .. “Highly contagious variants are spreading here. Adding a protective layer, like a high-quality mask, reduces your risk to yourself and your chances of infecting others.”

By recommending masks rather than requesting them, health authorities leave it to each person to determine their own risks. As for eating out, there are already some.

At Piperade, a French Bascu restaurant on Battery Street in San Francisco, owner Gerald Hilligoyen said more people are eating outdoors in recent weeks, and increased COVID-19 infections influence their choices. I think you are giving.

Fortunately, his fully vaccinated staff remains healthy during this recent surge in incidents. Masks are optional depending on employee preference.

“so far [COVID-19 cases surging] It hasn’t been reflected in the business yet, “Hirgoyen said.

Health officials also said people should be vaccinated. In San Francisco, for example, 84% of eligible residents are vaccinated.

Advisories were sent from the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marine, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma and the City of Berkeley.

Severe milestones 1 million deaths from COVID The United States emphasizes the need for continued vigilance against viruses.

A joint statement by health officials also encouraged the general public to ask doctors about antiviral drugs like Paxrovid for people at high risk of severe illness. This is an option that helps shorten the course of symptoms if the test is positive.

more: Message from Dr. Sarah Cody: Keep the mask handy and wear it indoors in a crowded area as the virus will surge again.

Rudy Miller, who graduated from Berkeley Law School on Friday, thanked last month’s recent surge in COVID-19 infections among classmates for the significant disappearance in time for graduation.

“I think school officials did it really well, and by the time the graduation rolled, the numbers had dropped significantly,” Miller said.

She will move to San Francisco shortly and will most likely wear a mask.

“I find it comfortable to keep the mask on, because I think it’s the best way to fight COVID,” Miller said.

KTVU’s Emma Goss contributed to this report.

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