SF to remove mask requirement for IRL public meetings inside city facilities


Starting Monday, April 25, people attending in-person meetings in city courtrooms will no longer need to wear face coverings — although people are still strongly encouraged to do so.

Regardless of the growing concerns around the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant and the neurological implications of the long COVID — not to mention San Francisco’s COVID-19 test positivity rate now exceeding 5% — masks are coming off in public places more interior. The SFMTA, for example, dropped the requirement for runners to wear face coverings last Thursday. Now City Hall has followed suit after announcing on Friday that it will not require people to wear face masks in public hearing and commission rooms.

“Beginning April 25, mask-wearing will no longer be required during in-person meetings in public commission or council hearing rooms at city facilities,” reads a press release from the office. from the city administrator, adding that members of the public and employees who wish to continue wearing their masks are “encouraged to do so”.

Face coverings were no longer required at City Hall and City facilities on March 18, 2022, except in public courtrooms during sessions. But from next Monday, that rule will be lifted — although the office noted that attendees of IRL public hearing meetings are still recommended to wear them. (Yes…that’s a frustratingly lukewarm view of this public health practice.)

State and local health orders continue to require the wearing of a mask indoors in certain high-risk settings, such as hospitals, health care facilities, prisons and congregate residences, regardless of the vaccination status.

The statement concluded that members of the city administrator’s office will continue to work with city departments, as well as state and local health officials, to assess available data regarding COVID cases. -19 and transmission rates – “if local conditions change, masking requirements and other health precautions may need to be reimposed.”

At the time of publication, California had an average of 3,014 new cases of COVID-19. In San Francisco, the current seven-day rolling average for newly reported coronavirus infections stands at 148 cases per day.

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Photo: Getty Images/Gerarald1009


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