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USA News

Bay Area healthcare workers will have to mask up due to threat of COVID, flu

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Health care workers in several Bay Area counties will soon be required to wear masks in patient care settings, as the region grapples with continued transmission of the coronavirus and looks ahead to the broader respiratory virus season.

The mandates, which take effect Nov. 1, require health officials in Contra Costa, Alameda, Sonoma and San Mateo counties to wear masks in hospitals and other facilities where patients will receive care indoors.

Santa Clara County health officials issued a mandate in March requiring masks in patient care areas between late fall and spring.

“Historical data shows annually higher infection rates for COVID-19, influenza, RSV and other viruses in Contra Costa County between late fall and spring,” wrote Dr. Ori Tzvieli, county health officer, in the order.

“This seasonal increase in the circulation of multiple respiratory viruses poses a particular risk to people more likely to suffer serious illness and death if infected, including infants, the elderly and people with weakened immunity “, the order states.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health did not immediately respond when asked if a similar mandate would be issued for the region.

There has been a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in California and the United States, California’s coronavirus test positivity rate was 12.8% as of September 10, up from 5.1% a year ago. is two months old, according to state data.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 hospitalizations as of Sept. 8 was about 393, up from about 163 two months earlier.

The Biden administration announced this week that it would spend $600 million to obtain additional at-home tests for the coronavirus, as well as relaunch a website that allows households to order up to four free tests in anticipation of a winter resurgence of the coronavirus.

Los Angeles Times

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