San Francisco could impose indoor mask mandate this week amid 4th COVID-19 surge

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — The surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in San Francisco has city officials looking at a possible mask mandate.

While specifics have yet to be discussed, the San Francisco Health Director said on Friday if enacted, it would be an indoor mask mandate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

“With the mask on or with the mask off? Well are you for the mask mandate or not?,” residents wondered.

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And that is the question that many in San Francisco are asking. Currently, the city does not have a mask mandate in place but with COVID-19 cases on the rise at more than 19 per 100,000 and a 5.2% positivity rate, the mayor spoke about the possibility of a mandate Friday.

“We are definitely close to a mandate of wearing masks, I know people are tired of being told what to do but the fact is, this is where we are,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Most San Franciscans we talked with are okay with some sort of mandate, especially seeing that San Francisco is one of several Bay Area counties currently recommending both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals mask indoors.

“I personally would like to have a mask mandate for indoors,” says Donna Dea.

“If it’s just inside that’s fine, I mean it should be there to help again protect all of us,” said Jonathan Chaet.

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“I’m thinking inside is probably okay just because you are dealing with a bunch of different people that have different comfort levels and that kind of a thing, but outside is a little bit extreme personally,” said Diego Canoso.

San Francisco Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax clarified Friday what is being looked at.

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“We are very vigorously exploring issuing an indoor masks mandate and in discussions with surrounding counties and health officers in regard to that,” says Colfax.

Not everyone though is on board and some we spoke with aren’t only against another rule, but believe a mask mandate will discourage some from getting vaccinated.

“If we continue to have mask mandates we will not get to herd immunity. We live with the flu, we live with the cold, at what point in time do we figure out how we co-exist?” says Margaret Coyle.

As of Saturday San Francisco has 95 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Twenty three of those individuals are in the ICU.

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