With a week to go until the state likely lifts most COVID-19 public mask mandates, Contra Costa County residents seem ready, having received about 1.3 million vaccine doses.
Health officials told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that more than 75 percent of county residents 12 and over have received at least one dose. Two-thirds of the demographic are fully vaccinated.
“We do remain in the orange tier, and we expect to stay in that tier until the state lifts the blueprint for a safer economy on June 15,” said health department deputy director Randy Sawyer. “The county plans to align with the state’s health guidance and not impose any additional local restrictions. When that happens, there will be no more colored tier system.”
The county’s case rate is still relatively high among unvaccinated people at about 8.5 infections per day per 100,000 people, which would still have Contra Costa in the purple tier if not for vaccination rates being so high.
Health officials also said the county recommends municipalities follow the relevant state guidelines when it comes to Fourth of July events. Many cities have canceled fireworks shows and parades, though others like Orinda have scaled back but still plan to hold celebrations.
The state has issued guidelines for “mega events,” gatherings of more than 5,000 people indoors or 10,000 people outdoors, after June 15.
Indoor events will require attendees to be able to verify they’re fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test with 72 hours of attendance. Attendees will also have to follow CDC guidance regarding face coverings.
“These large events are still a risk for unvaccinated people and we strongly recommend that they get vaccinated as soon as or wear a mask when they’re in public,” deputy county health officer Dr. Ori Tzvieli said.
County officials also said the state plans to relax workplace mask rules after June 15, but only in businesses in which employers have proof of all employees working in the same space are vaccinated. Businesses that interact with the public can still require patrons to wear masks.
The county also supports a full return to in-person school in the fall.