Alameda County, California Reinstates Mask Mandates

On June 2, 2022, the Alameda County Public Health Department announced that face coverings would once again be required in most indoor public settings, including workplaces and offices, effective Friday, June 3, 2022 (the “Order”). The change comes as a result of rising COVID-19 cases in the jurisdiction that have “exceeded the peak of last summer’s Delta wave and are now approaching levels seen during the winter 2020-2021 wave,” even without unreported cases “due to home testing and unidentified infections.” The Order also cites a rise in hospitalizations that have exceeded last summer’s peak and the disproportionate infection rate in communities of color.

As of June 3, 2022, Alameda County was in the medium-risk category according to the Centers for Disease Control, which tracks and assesses weekly community risk based on hospital admissions, hospital beds used, and COVID cases. As such, the Order appears to be a preemptive measure to limit transmission and avoid moving into the high-risk category. It remains to be seen whether other counties will follow suit.  

The Order does not apply in K-12 school settings through the end of the 2021-2022 school year, but does apply in all other youth settings including, but not limited to, childcare, summer school, and youth programs, to the extent practicable. The Order also does not apply to the City of Berkley, which is an independent local health jurisdiction.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.