Here's why Solano County did not order indoor mask mandate

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Not every county in the Bay Area is ready to impose mandating facial coverings. 

“We all have our individual health officer orders, which do differ slightly, but I think the main message that everyone should take away is that we are in broad agreement,” Santa Clara County Deputy Health Officer Dr. George Han said. 

Well, not exactly. 

Two counties, Napa and Solano, do not agree with the vast majority of Bay Area public health officials who announced a return to a mask mandate to help prevent the spread of the delta variant. 

Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela T. Matyas explains why, instead of issuing a mask mandate, Solano County has chosen to continue following the state of California’s facial covering guidelines.

“As these mandates are being promulgated they don’t address the problem that is occurring. Our cases are very clearly not occurring in public places. They’re occurring in people’s homes, at parties, barbecues, picnics, camping events and so issuing a mask mandate in the indoor public space environment isn’t going to change that. In fact, if you data in those counties that have already issued mandates, there has been no change in the level of disease,” Dr. Matyas said. 

“The goal of this order is to avoid disrupting our business’ continued operations and our residents’ everyday activities,” Dr. Lisa Santora, with the County of Marin Department of Health and Human Services, said. 

However, the concern for Solano County health officials is that a mask mandate would do just that for businesses and residents who are embracing the freedom to move beyond the blueprint for a safer economy.  

Plus, Dr. Matyas says a mask mandate does not align with COVID-19 and delta variant data in Solano County.

“It would be easy for me to just do it as the health officer but it will have emotional consequences for individuals,” Dr. Matyas said. 

Like Solano County, health officials in Napa say they too will continue to align with the masking guidance outlined by the California Department of Public Health.

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