Health Order Guidance

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Face Coverings Required Inside for Everyone

The County of Sonoma along with 6 other Bay Area counties and the City of Berkeley have joined together in mandating new face covering requirements. The Public Health Order directs that face coverings shall be worn, regardless of vaccination status, over the mouth and nose, in all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings, and workplaces, such as, but not limited to: offices, retail stores, restaurants, bars, theaters, family entertainment centers, conference centers, schools, daycares, and State and local government offices serving the public. This Order becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. on August 3, 2021. Businesses are required to implement the indoor face covering order. Exemptions are are listed in section 6 of the Public Health Order.

Health officials also recommend that all employers make face coverings available to individuals entering their businesses.

Signage Required

Businesses and other indoor operators are also required to post clearly visible and easy-to-read signage at all entry points to communicate the masking requirements to all patrons. Bilingual signage is available for distribution through the EDB. Email to request signage or click here to download poster (11x17 in).

COVID-19 Mask Ordinance: The Administrative Citation and Civil Penalty Urgency Ordinance from August of 2020 is still in effect. Read more.

When will local face covering mandate be lifted?

Sonoma County along with other Bay Area counties announced new criteria in determining when to lift the local indoor face covering mandate. In order to lift the current mandate, Sonoma County must meet the following three criteria:

  • Sonoma County reaches the moderate (yellow) COVID-19 transmission tier, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and remains there for at least three weeks; AND
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in Sonoma County are low and stable, in the judgment of the health officer; AND
  • 80% of the Sonoma County’s total population is fully vaccinated with two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson (booster doses not considered) OR eight weeks have passed since a COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized for emergency use by federal and state authorities for 5- to 11-year-olds

When each criteria is met and the local face covering mandate is lifted, businesses, nonprofits, churches, or other indoor public spaces may continue to impose their own face covering requirements.

Additionally, California’s health guidance for the use of face coverings will remain in effect after local masking requirements are lifted, meaning that people who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 must continue to wear masks in businesses and indoor public spaces.

To see how Sonoma County is progressing visit the following pages:

Sonoma County Rescinds Face Mask Exemption for Fully Vaccinated Groups

SANTA ROSA, CA – Sonoma County today joined four other Bay Area counties in rescinding exemptions to local public health orders that allowed stable groups of fully vaccinated people to remove their masks indoors in some workplaces, gyms, churches and other public settings.

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask in all indoor public settings.

The exemption to Sonoma County’s masking order will be eliminated at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021. Four other Bay Area counties — Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Francisco — and the city of Berkeley also removed similar exemptions to their local mask mandates in a coordinated effort to blunt a regional surge in COVID-19 cases. Read more

Prohibition on Large Gatherings

The county’s health officer, out of an abundance of caution, issued a Health Order canceling large gatherings to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus in the county. Large gatherings of more than 50 people indoors, or more than 100 people outdoors (where social distancing is not feasible), are prohibited for the duration of the order. The order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12 and is scheduled to remain in effect until Feb. 11. Learn More

Beyond the Blueprint

Workplace Requirements Beyond June 15th

The State has lifted most business capacity and distancing restrictions (with limited exceptions for Mega Events). Furthermore, the State has revised the face covering requirements to align closer with current CDC guidance. The State will continue to issue best practice guidance, including revisions to existing industry sector guidance

With the loosening of restrictions, employers are still required to follow the current Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Cal/OSHA revised the ETS to better align with the State. Governor Newsom signed an executive order to make revision effective June 17, 2021. 

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