With the Delta variant infecting the city’s vaccinated and unvaccinated residents, Mayor Breed and Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax announced Friday that actions will be taken sometime next week to combat its spread — which could include an indoor mask mandate.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. But with the bombshell findings released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) this week showing the Delta variant's communicability, as well as its capacity to cause more severe cases of COVID-19, masks are likely to again be a necessary part of our grocery shopping and restaurant outings.
If you are fully vaccinated, your risk of infection is lower, but some people can still spread the Delta variant. When “breakthrough cases” of #COVID19 do occur in vaccinated people, nearly all are avoiding serious illness, hospitalization, or death. https://t.co/tt49zOn1hf pic.twitter.com/k5OQkqVpl4— CDC (@CDCgov) July 31, 2021
"We are close to a mandate of wearing masks, and I know people are tired of being told what to do but the fact is, this is where we are," said Breed during an outdoor event Friday. Her comments made yesterday also align with similar remarks she shared during a crowded indoor (and largely mask-free) event at Manny's earlier this week.
Considering that there's now a vaccine mandate for City staff, it's a logical jump to assume that San Francisco will reinstate a mask-wearing rule while inside public spaces; San Francisco, too, has prided itself on being a national model for pandemic safety protocols and measures, so it would be odd for the City not to heed recommendations from the CDC — which presently include supporting mask-wearing mandates for areas of high COVID-19 transmition.
San Francisco, alas, is considered an area experiencing an alarming uptick in COVID-19 infections, disease-related hospitalizations, and positive testing rates.
Following Breed's sentiment Friday, ABC7 noted that the city's health director Dr. Grant Colfax said he will meet with other county health officials to take action as early as next week.
"Delta is causing the vast majority of our COVID cases," waxed Colfax. "This surge is going faster than even the surge we saw in the fall or winter."
That said: the City's COVID-19 response has been notably "grounded in data, science, and facts." And findings from both the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and CDC continue to prove that vaccines are incredibly efficacious in preventing infections; are an integral part in mitigating widespread outbreaks, and greatly reduce one's risk of needing hospitalization (which also helps keep ICU beds available to those who need them most).
ICYMI: The delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in SF. As hospitalizations continue to rise, we are urging everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. It is your best protection against the virus. Watch today's full livestream here: https://t.co/CmAyTOwTr0 pic.twitter.com/vJWSU3MWU0— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) July 30, 2021
“San Francisco’s response to COVID-19 has always been grounded in data, science, and facts, and the more data we can analyze to drive our public health decisions, the better,” added Colfax in a press release from the SFDPH Friday. “The data we are seeing today shows vaccines are highly effective in protecting people from severe illness and hospitalizations due to COVID-19, even as we see some breakthrough cases. Getting vaccinated continues to be your best protection."
Mask up. Get vaccinated. And please: Talk copious amounts of sense into those in your life who, for some inexplicable reason, believe Joe Rogan and comedians are more qualified at giving medical advice than some of the nation’s top public health experts.
For more information on Covid-19 vaccines, as well as how to receive one in the City and County of San Francisco, visit sf.gov/get-vaccinated-against-covid-19.
Photo: San Francisco Mayor London Breed wears a face mask that says "We Rise" during a news conference outside of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with essential workers to mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has some of the lowest number of coronavirus cases and death rates in the country with only 422 deaths in a city with a population near 900,000. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)