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Indoor Mandatory Masking Returns 8.3




Eight Bay Area Health Officers, including Santa Clara County's Dr Cody, issued Health Orders REQUIRING face coverings indoors in public places beginning August 3, 2021.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: How does the Santa Clara County order differ from other similar indoor face covering orders issued in the Bay Area? While most Bay Area indoor face covering orders are similar in effect, the Santa Clara County order also requires use of face coverings at private indoor events (such as parties or gatherings in a residence). This is because the risk of COVID-19 transmission is similar in such settings. Most other orders urge use of face coverings in such settings, but do not require it. What does the Order require of businesses and governmental entities? All businesses and governmental entities must enforce the face covering requirement in the Order for all personnel and for all customers or members of the public entering their facilities, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, all businesses and governmental entities must post clearly visible and easy-to-read signage at all entry points for indoor settings to communicate the face covering requirements to all persons entering the facility. Lastly, those responsible for indoor public settings are strongly encouraged to provide face coverings at no cost to individuals who do not have one upon entry. What are the penalties for non-compliance? Like all other Health Orders, failure to comply with the indoor face covering requirement is subject to both criminal and civil enforcement. For example, any business that fails to enforce the indoor face covering requirement is subject to enforcement, and may be required to pay fines of up to $5,000 per violation per day. For what kinds of activities are you allowed to remove a face covering? To the extent allowed by state or federal rules requiring face coverings for unvaccinated people, wearing a face covering is not required in any of the following situations-

  • Indoors While Alone or with Members of Your Household. A person does not need to wear a face covering when they are alone or with members of their household in a public building or completely enclosed space such as an office. For clarity, people must wear face coverings whenever they are in semi-enclosed spaces such as cubicles and common areas for shared living settings, such as hotels, shared rentals with multiple households, dormitories, fire stations, lobbies, and elevators. For clarity, persons known to be fully vaccinated and who come into your residence on a regular basis (e.g., caregivers) may be considered members of your household for purposes of this Order.

  • Active Eating and Drinking. People may remove their face covering while actively eating or drinking.

  • Showering, Personal Hygiene, or Sleeping. People may remove their face covering while showering or actively engaging in personal hygiene that requires removal of face covering, including at a gym or other facility. People may remove their face covering while sleeping in indoor public settings, such as at congregate shelters.

  • Live or Recorded Performance. Performers at indoor live or recorded settings or events such as concerts, live music, film, television, recording studios, theater, opera, symphony, or other live or recorded activities may remove their face coverings while actively performing or practicing. If they remove their face coverings, performers must maintain at least six feet of distance from attendees and employees and are encouraged to maintain as much distance from other performers as possible.

  • Religious Gatherings. Service leaders of indoor religious gatherings may remove their face coverings while actively performing religious services. If they remove their face coverings, service leaders are encouraged to maintain as much distance from others as possible. Participants in indoor religious gatherings may remove their face coverings for the limited duration necessary to participate in religious rituals.

  • Personal Services. Patrons of personal services such as facials, beard trims, facial piercing and tattoos, and facial massages may remove their face covering only while actively receiving a service or treatment that requires temporary removal of the face covering. Where they cannot maintain at least six feet of distance, providers of personal services are strongly encouraged to wear a N-95 mask, respirator, or procedural/surgical mask while administering the service.

  • Sports. Participants in indoor sports, gyms, and yoga studios may not remove their face coverings except while actively engaged in water-based activities (e.g., swimming, swim lessons, diving, water polo) and other sports where masks create imminent risk to health (e.g., wrestling, judo), or at a time where heat and major exertion creates a safety risk.


Review the full Press Release here: Health-Officer-Order-August-2-2021.pdf (sccgov.org)




Brittney Sherman

CEO\President

Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce

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