3 reasons the Bay Area and California aren’t planning new lockdowns even amid delta surge

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The spike in coronavirus cases driven by the delta variant has prompted the return of a familiar restriction to the Bay Area: an indoor mask mandate for everyone.

But could this latest surge bring back a far more disruptive measure in the Bay Area or even statewide — namely, lockdown orders?

The answer so far, according to California and many county officials, is no.

That’s because this surge is distinctive from others over the past year and a half: It’s the first to strike after the widespread rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, and both the coronavirus and public health tools for fighting it have changed considerably.

The California Department of Public Health said in an email Thursday that between masking, testing and more than 75% of eligible individuals in the state having received at least one vaccine dose, lockdowns would not be necessary.

“California can continue to keep businesses open and get kids back in classrooms safely,” the department said.

The San Francisco and Alameda County health departments also said this week that they are not considering a shelter-in place order. That is also the case for San Mateo County, according to Department of Public Health public information officer Preston Merchant.

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