Yolo County on Tuesday ordered that everyone must wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Friday.
In issuing the order, the county’s Health Department said the number of cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents has risen eightfold, from 1.2 to 10, since June 15, when the county lifted capacity limits and other restrictions on businesses and allowed vaccinated people to go unmasked in most settings.
The Health Department said the Delta variant, more than twice as contagious as the original virus, was to blame for mounting cases and an increase in hospitalizations.
“With case rates as high as they are and rising, everybody needs to add an additional layer of protection in the form of a mask when they are indoors,” Dr. Aimee Sisson, Yolo County’s public health officer, said in a statement.
The mask mandate will not be lifted until the county’s case rate falls below 2 cases per 100,000 residents for seven consecutive days, according to a statement from the county health department.
Yolo County health officials urged residents to get vaccinated, saying that nearly all the people hospitalized in the county with COVID-19 have not been inoculated.
Unvaccinated people are more than six times more likely to become infected by the coronavirus, according to the county health department.
Fourteen people are hospitalized in Yolo County with COVID-19, and 213 people to date have died from the virus.