No Sacramento County mask mandate issued despite COVID-19 uptick

Longtime rock band Pearl Jam’s cancellation of Wednesday night’s concert at the Golden 1 Center because of a positive COVID-19 test serves as a strong reminder that cases are once again on the rise in California, including Sacramento County. Fans told KCRA 3 they hope Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who tested positive for the virus Wednesday morning, goes through a speedy recovery, but they were so disappointed they wouldn’t get to see their favorite band perform live.”It’s kind of a bummer Because we were just talking about it. We were waiting three years to come and see a concert together and now this happens,” Pearl Jam fan Orlando Miramontes said.With COVID-19 cases rising in Sacramento County, some fans like Darcy Reed said something needs to happen, even if it means bringing back a mask mandate.”I can’t speak for everyone; I don’t want to make anyone mad, but I personally have been indoor masking this whole time,” Reed said.Sacramento County officials told KCRA 3 the previous benchmark to drop the mask mandate was five cases per every 100,000 residents. But the latest data from Sacramento County’s weekly dashboard shows the current case rate is 23.3 cases per every 100,000 residents. Hospitalizations are also up, rising from 60 reported on May 3 to 106 reported on May 17. KCRA 3 asked what is causing the surge – and why masks are still not required. Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye sent the following statement: “Cases of COVID-19 are increasing due to contagious sub-variants of delta and omicron. Although there is an increase in hospitalized cases as well, it is not at the same scale as the increase in positive cases. The availability of effective vaccinations and therapeutics are working to reduce disease severity and death. Masks are also still highly recommended when going out in public, especially in crowded places and especially for people at increased risk for severe disease. For those that haven’t been vaccinated – we urge you to take advantage of one of our many free clinics throughout the County each week. It is important for people to remain up to date on their COVID vaccinations. Sacramento County will continue to follow state guidance on any specific restrictions or mandates.”Dr. Mark Vaughan, medical director of Auburn Medical Group, said the only way he sees mask mandates returning is if hospital capacity is severely impacted.”Certainly, if hospitalizations were going up or ICUs or deaths were going up, I would feel very strongly about requiring masks of people when they’re in public places, but with the numbers as they are now, it’s harder to really feel that drive to have to keep the masks on everyone,” Vaughan said. “It’s not nearly as dangerous of a situation as what we had months ago.”

Longtime rock band Pearl Jam’s cancellation of Wednesday night’s concert at the Golden 1 Center because of a positive COVID-19 test serves as a strong reminder that cases are once again on the rise in California, including Sacramento County.

Fans told KCRA 3 they hope Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who tested positive for the virus Wednesday morning, goes through a speedy recovery, but they were so disappointed they wouldn’t get to see their favorite band perform live.

“It’s kind of a bummer because we were just talking about it. We were waiting three years to come and see a concert together and now this happens,” Pearl Jam fan Orlando Miramontes said.

With COVID-19 cases rising in Sacramento County, some fans like Darcy Reed said something needs to happen, even if it means bringing back a mask mandate.

“I can’t speak for everyone; I don’t want to make anyone mad, but I personally have been indoor masking this whole time,” Reed said.

Sacramento County officials told KCRA 3 the previous benchmark to drop the mask mandate was five cases per every 100,000 residents. But the latest data from Sacramento County’s weekly dashboard shows the current case rate is 23.3 cases per every 100,000 residents. Hospitalizations are also up, rising from 60 reported on May 3 to 106 reported on May 17.

KCRA 3 asked what is causing the surge – and why masks are still not required.

Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye sent the following statement:

“Cases of COVID-19 are increasing due to contagious sub-variants of delta and omicron. Although there is an increase in hospitalized cases as well, it is not at the same scale as the increase in positive cases. The availability of effective vaccinations and therapeutics are working to reduce disease severity and death. Masks are also still highly recommended when going out in public, especially in crowded places and especially for people at increased risk for severe disease. For those that haven’t been vaccinated – we urge you to take advantage of one of our many free clinics throughout the County each week. It is important for people to remain up to date on their COVID vaccinations. Sacramento County will continue to follow state guidance on any specific restrictions or mandates.”

dr Mark Vaughan, medical director of Auburn Medical Group, said the only way he sees mask mandates returning is if hospital capacity is severely impacted.

“Certainly, if hospitalizations were going up or ICUs or deaths were going up, I would feel very strongly about requiring masks of people when they’re in public places, but with the numbers as they are now, it’s harder to really feel that drive to have to keep the masks on everyone,” Vaughan said. “It’s not nearly as dangerous of a situation as what we had months ago.”

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