, May 21, 2022

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Vallejo rescinds mask mandate


  •   2 min reads
Vallejo rescinds mask mandate
Vallejo City Hall.

VALLEJO – As the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to fade, the Vallejo City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to rescind the city’s mask mandate, joining 11 other regional counties and the state of California which lifted mandates last week.

Many of the council members said that they thought the time was right to drop the mandate, which required individuals 4 years and older to wear a face covering while inside any buildings open to the general public. These spaces included grocery stories, office buildings, laundromats, and restaurants.

“It’s time that we start moving in a different direction,” said Councilmember Mina Loera-Diaz, who represents District 3. Loera-Diaz pointed to decreasing COVID cases and the lifting of masks mandates by Solano County and the state.

Loera-Diaz and fellow Councilmember Pippin Dew, at large, said those who wanted to get vaccinated against COVID-19 have done so already.

“The time has come to remove the masks,” Dew said, adding that Vallejo’s vaccination rate of 88% is “pretty high.”

Loera-Diaz initially proposed extending the mandate for 30 days to find a mechanism to check the vaccination status of persons entering city hall. But she pulled the proposal after City Attorney Veronica Nebb expressed concerns with making it a requirement that persons be checked while entering city hall but not any other city building.

Mayor Robert McConnell made the motion to rescind the mask mandate while giving Interim City Manager Mike Malone latitude to adopt an administrative process to verify the verification status of those entering city hall.

Unvaccinated individuals are still required to continue wearing masks in enclosed public spaces under state regulations which are now in effect.

Vallejo follows the Benicia City Council, which last week voted to lift that city's mask mandate..

According to data from Solano County Public Health dashboard, Vallejo, the county's largest city, had 31% of all Solano County COVID cases as of last Friday. Benicia had 4% of cases.

Nebb did say that the city has a process in place that identifies which city employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who are unvaccinated must still wear a mask.

The Vallejo council voted earlier this month to move its meetings back to in-person starting on March 8.

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