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COVID Update: Benicia City Council Unanimously Approves Mask Mandate For Public Buildings

BENICIA (CBS SF/BCN) -- Joining the movement to stop the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, the Benicia City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday night requiring everyone ages 4 and up to wear a mask while inside any buildings open to the public.

The new mask mandate goes into effect immediately and includes grocery stores, commercial office buildings, laundromats, and restaurants.

The five-person council will also review the ordinance again in six weeks.

"It's not how I would have written it, but I'm happy with the outcome," said Benicia Mayor Steve Young on Wednesday morning about changes to the ordinance.

Young noted the age requirement, which was originally set at 12 and older, along with the review in six weeks, were added by the council Tuesday night.

Benicia's action comes as Solano County has yet to join other Bay Area counties in re-instituting a mask mandate as the COVID-19 delta variant increases the number of positive cases.

Solano County's health officer Dr. Bela Matyas previously said that he is not ordering a new mask mandate because the science shows Solano County residents are being infected at large gatherings.

Young said the city isn't through yet. The council is expected to decide on whether to require city employees to show proof of being vaccinated against COVID sometime in September.

"Show us proof or agree to get tested each week," Young said.

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