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Alameda County lifts latest indoor mask mandate as COVID-19 cases decline

ALAMEDA COUNTY – Three weeks after implementing an indoor mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases, health officials in Alameda County said the requirement will be dropped as of Saturday, June 25.

In a written statement, the Alameda County Health Services Agency cited several metrics behind ending the mandate. Officials said cases have peaked and are continuing to decline, with case rates improving among each of the county's largest racial and ethnic groups.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalizations have stabilized, even though they remain at an elevated level. As of Thursday, the county moved from a "high" COVID-19 community level to "moderate", according to the Centers for Disease Control.

"Conditions have stabilized following the sustained increases in case reports and hospitalizations we saw throughout May," health officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said. "While we expect continued impacts from COVID-19 in the coming weeks and masks remain strongly recommended, it is appropriate to step down from the Health Officer masking Order at this time."

The county implemented its mask mandate on June 3, citing a surge in cases surged and hospitalizations that more than doubled during the month of May.

"We're up above 100 people in the hospital today. Our intensive care unit numbers have just started to increase as well," Moss said at the time.

While Alameda County implemented a mask mandate during its latest surge, other Bay Area counties did not re-implement mask requirements.

Officials said masks remain "strongly recommended" for indoor public spaces and that businesses may continue to require patrons and workers to wear them.

Masks remain required in health care settings, congregate settings and long-term care facilities under state guidelines.

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