Five counties in California implemented mask mandates for some areas on Wednesday as a precautionary measure ahead of flu season, Los Angeles’ KABC-TV News reported.

Staff members at hospitals and doctors’ offices in Alameda, San Mateo, Contra Costa, and Sonoma counties must now wear masks when interacting with patients, according to KABC Channel 7. Santa Clara County implemented additional measures, requiring hospital patients and residents at long-term care facilities to wear face coverings in addition to health care providers and staff.


“The order in Santa Clara County does require masking for everyone who steps into a health care facility,” Dr. Sarah Rudman, Santa Clara County’s deputy health officer, told KABC. “And that’s because we’re all at risk during this winter virus season. We all need to play a role in protecting ourselves and protecting each other.”

Several other California counties implemented mask recommendations this year, as well, including Los AngelesOrange, and Ventura counties. Los Angeles County currently requires every health care worker who has not received the COVID-19 vaccine booster to wear a mask when they come in contact with patients, while San Bernardino County “strongly recommends” that individuals wear masks in indoor public settings at all times.

Supporters of the rule argued that mask mandates would prevent a “tripledemic” of RSV, the flu, and COVID-19, according to KABC. There has been an “incredible pushback” against previous attempts to mandate masks in the area, according to Dr. Karen Smith, the interim health officer for Sonoma County.

We’re over it,” one California hospital worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told KTVU-TV News in Oakland, California. “Our patients, we still don’t know if they’re coming in with [COVID-19], but it doesn’t scare me.”

The mask mandates will remain in place until at least March 2024, KABC reported.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation

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