Darryl Sims, a security guard with Allied Security stationed at Wells Fargo Bank, is pictured on West Portal Avenue on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The City renewed an indoor mask mandate to protect against the Delta variant surge on Aug. 2. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

Darryl Sims, a security guard with Allied Security stationed at Wells Fargo Bank, is pictured on West Portal Avenue on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The City renewed an indoor mask mandate to protect against the Delta variant surge on Aug. 2. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

Mask mandates are back: SF joins Bay Area response to surging Delta variant

Health officials in San Francisco joined six other Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley to issue a new indoor mask mandate Monday as the region faces a wave of new COVID-19 cases due to the more infectious Delta variant and the remaining swath of unvaccinated residents.

The mandate will take effect Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma counties as well as Berkeley and require residents to wear a mask indoors in public settings like retail stores, regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or not.

Health officials in the seven counties also urged residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible if they have yet to do so, noting that the prevalence of the delta variant puts unvaccinated people at even higher risk of infection, serious illness and death.

While so-called breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated people are possible, the health officials noted they remain exceedingly rare and the three available vaccines also significantly reduce the chance of developing serious illness or dying from COVID-19.

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