Alameda County Mask Mandate Removed for Indoor Public Settings

Nandini Sharma--The Alameda County rescinded the indoor public mask mandate about three weeks after reinstating it.

Alameda County Mask Mandate Removed for Indoor Public Settings

On Friday, June 24, the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) rescinded the mask mandate for indoor public settings from earlier this month. The order went into effect on June 25.

Alameda County had been the only Bay Area county to restore a masking mandate following the increase in cases, but the recommendations in other Bay Area counties remain the same.

This policy was enacted in accordance with the statewide policy on indoor masking, strongly recommending all individuals over the age of two to continue masking regardless of vaccination status. This order re-aligns the county guidelines with those from the state, continuing to encourage residents to wear masks in business, public transport and educational settings.

Masks are still required at homeless shelters, correctional facilities, long-term care facilities and in healthcare settings. Masking in workplaces will depend on regulations from Cal/OSHA. Businesses and venue operators may choose to require their patrons and workers to continue wearing masks.

According to a June 24 press release from ACPHD, this change in the local masking order has been made after observations of case rate improvements. They noted that the daily reported COVID-19 cases have continued to decline, especially among the Hispanic/Latino residents that had been disproportionately affected. These trends were also supported by a stabilization of hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19. ACPHD also highlighted that on June 23, Alameda County moved from “High” (Orange) to “Moderate” (Yellow), according to the CDC’s COVID-19 Community level.

Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss stated in the press release that “[m]asks work and are still an important tool to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, especially when rates are high.” He emphasized that “masks remain strongly recommended,” but the stabilization in the impact indicates that a masking order is not necessary at this time.

Friday’s press release also noted that Alameda County will be aligning with the State guidance on quarantine and definition of close contact following Wednesday, Jun. 29. This means that close contacts of a COVID-19 case should test within three to five days of exposure if they don’t develop symptoms and should wear a mask around others for 10 days, especially in indoor and high-risk settings. Residents with symptoms should test immediately and stay home: in the case of a positive test, isolation requirements are to be followed.

Despite the removal of the mask mandate, residents are encouraged to continue masking, stay up to date with their vaccinations, gather outdoors in smaller numbers and increase ventilation within indoor gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19.

For more information visit Alameda County’s COVID-19 database at

Nandini Sharma is an Alameda Sun intern. To reach Sharma, contact

Nandini Sharma