, December 02, 2021

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Vallejo City Council extends mask mandate despite 84% vaccination rate


  •   2 min reads
Vallejo City Council extends mask mandate despite 84% vaccination rate
Vallejo City Hall

VALLEJO - Face coverings will still need to be worn by persons entering public spaces in the city of Vallejo for the foreseeable future following a decision by the Vallejo City Council to extend the city’s mask mandate Tuesday night.  

Individuals 4 years and older must wear a face covering while inside any buildings open to the general public within city limits. These spaces include grocery stories, office buildings, laundromats, and restaurants.

The city’s vaccination rate against COVID-19 has increased to 84.1 percent, according to Solano county data, which triggered the mask mandate review on Tuesday.

Adopted on Aug. 31, the mandate was required to remain in effect until at least 80 percent of the city’s population was fully vaccinated or until Vallejo is not considered to have substantial or high transmission rates as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 30 days. The council renewed the mandate at its Oct. 5 meeting.

The city still has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the county with 13,278 or 29 percent of all cases as of Oct. 19. There are currently 308 active cases in the county, including 33 hospitalizations. Only 30% of intensive care beds are unoccupied, according to county data.

Following re-adoption on Tuesday, Vallejo’s mandate will continue until the county’s COVID-19 transmission rates improve.

Extending the mask mandate was in part a precaution as the Vallejo City Council approved its return to in person meetings starting Nov. 16. The directive also applies to city commissions and boards.

“I’m certainly weary of doing these meetings at home,” said Councilwoman Cristina Arriola, District 6, who offered up the motion that the council return to in person meetings.

The council hasn’t met in person for more than 18 months following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Direction was also given to city staff to erect plastic partitions separating councilmembers seated at the dais inside the city hall council chambers to ensure there is sufficient air circulation in the chambers, and for staff to work on a hybrid broadcast model allowing the public to participate in the meeting via teleconference.  

There could be challenges with returning to the council chambers.

City Attorney Veronica Nebb said the partitions might become an issue as it can be “hard to hear around them, a little bit.”  

She further said it might be difficult to have the council spaced six feet apart from each other. Typically, the dais had room for 10 people, which included the seven person council, the city attorney, city manager, and city clerk.

Nebb noted that the dais has been extended to the old speakers’ podium allowing the addition of two more seats. A computer monitor and microphone are fixed in place at each seat.

Nebb confirmed that the public would not be required to show proof of vaccination when attending council or commission meetings.

Earlier this month, a resolution was passed by the council allowing it and the city's commissions and boards to continue meeting via teleconference due in part to the fear of spreading COVID amongst the council, city staff and general public.

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