BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Mask mandates have been a hot topic since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the mask debate was front and center at last night’s meeting of trustees for the Kern High School District.
But with the cities of Los Angeles and now San Francisco reinstating their own mandatory mask mandates regardless of vaccination status, where does that leave Kern County?
The mandates in Los Angeles and San Francisco require everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to mask up while indoors. The contagious Delta mutation of COVID-19 is to blame.
“We are seeing the majority of our cases are in the unvaccinated population here in Kern County,” Brynn Carrigan the Director of Kern County Public Health said. “More than 99 percent of our cases are because of the unvaccinated.”
The surges have caused business to respond. National chains like Walmart have begun requiring their local shops to ask shoppers to mask up when entering the store.
Even local Bakersfield businesses have started to put up mask requirement signs again.
“Corona is a thing of the past but now it’s unfortunately coming back,” Nick Avalos the owner of Downtown Toys N Comics said. “Hopefully it doesn’t start a panic like the first one.”
Carrigan said businesses have the autonomy to make their own mask rules and shoppers have to listen or risk not shopping at all.
“A different masking requirement for a business is completely allowable,” Carrigan said. “They are perfectly allowed to require masking regardless of vaccination status within their own business.”
It’s unknown if Kern will adopt a mask mandate but what is known is that masks do help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and it is the unvaccinated that are causing the virus to continue to rapidly spread across the nation, state and our local community.