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San Francisco, different Bay Space counties require masks once more in workplaces, gyms amid omicron surge

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can i buy prednisone over the counter in spain Previously, San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and Alameda counties had allowed people in offices, gyms, and religious meeting rooms such as churches to remove their masks, provided they were all fully vaccinated.

The counties had negotiated with the state to maintain these exemptions after California reintroduced a universal mask mandate earlier this month.

But with data clearly showing that omicron infects vaccinated people in significant numbers, the exceptions are now gone. The new orders of the districts come into force on Thursday at 12:01 p.m.

“When we see numbers like this, it is time to act,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Health Officer.

Contra Costa County took a similar move on Tuesday to lift the mask exemption. All nine Bay Area counties are now fully aligned with the California indoor mandate.

Fully vaccinated people are at greater risk of contagion than ever before in the pandemic. In California, the number of cases for fully vaccinated subjects for the week ending December 19 was 13.6 cases per 100,000 and 70.5 cases per 100,000 unvaccinated. Just a month earlier, the weekly averages were 5.4 per 100,000 for the vaccinated and 38.4 per 100,000 for the unvaccinated.

And the latest rates are before omicron invaded Christmas gatherings and triggered infection rates even higher. In Sonoma County, holiday gatherings are the cause of 40% of new cases where the source of the infection is known, according to Dr. Sundari Mase, county health officer.

San Francisco reported its highest single-day case count on Tuesday – 805, according to state data and Chronicle analysis, which tends to deviate slightly from the city’s official numbers.

The actual numbers are certainly higher since many people do antigen tests at home and do not report the results.

According to Dr. Ori Tzvieli, Contra Costa County’s public health director, hospitals are still not overwhelmed, but they are getting more calls.

“What I worry about is two to three weeks if even more people have COVID,” he said.

Dr. Karen Relucio, Napa County’s health officer, said hospital admissions so far have been stable and manageable.

“We have good capacities. We’re not at the highest level we’ve ever seen, ”she said.

Dr. Caesar Djavaherian, co-founder of San Francisco-based care provider Carbon Health, said his company’s clinics typically see 40 to 50 patients a day, but now about double that – and most of that is COVID.

“Clinics are being overrun,” he said. “The wave is real.”

When asked about the mood among health care providers in the Bay Area, he said, “It’s 100% exhaustion.” Not only are health care providers dealing with potential exposures or infections in their own families, but they are also seeing a flood of patients.

Health workers are trained to prioritize patients, but it “wears you down as a provider,” said Djavaherian, adding, “The stress out there, especially for health workers, is incredibly high.”

Experts urged people to take as many precautions as possible – getting vaccinated, freshening up, wearing masks, only gathering in small groups, and doing rapid tests beforehand – although a lack of tests obviously makes it difficult and the tests too the accuracy not foolproof are positive cases detect.

“At this point where Omicron is gaining so much, I wouldn’t recommend New Years Eve celebrations unless they’re small,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara District Health Officer. “Small, intimate gatherings are the way to bring this New Year together. It is not the time to go to a big meeting. “

Mase from Sonoma County went even further. She recommended that those who are not vaccinated avoid holiday gatherings and travel. For those vaccinated and unvaccinated who choose to meet, she recommended well-fitting masks for all – and not cloth masks.

Dr. Bob Wachter, chairman of UCSF’s medical division, said on a Twitter thread on Wednesday that things are tough now but significant improvements could be made.

“In early February we could be in a place where COVID is actually ‘like the flu’, which significantly lowers your risk,” he wrote – although he added that it was by no means safe.

The Chronicle’s authors, Erin Allday and Nami Sumida, contributed to this report.

Kate Galbraith is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: kgalbraith@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kategalbraith

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