Unless you've been living under a rock, you know there's this faster spreading Delta variant of Covid-19 going around. If you actually have been living under a rock, congratulations for having the perfect lifestyle for our times.
As of Tuesday, August 3rd, Santa Clara County has mandated that face masks are again required for everyone regardless of your vaccination status when you're indoors at businesses. This isn't a return to the colored tiers of "The Blueprint" where most businesses had to operate at reduced capacities and some had to stay closed or operate in a different format. It's just face masks. That's all.
For anything that you can't do with a face mask on like beauty services or indoor dining you're required to wear face masks whenever possible. Keep your face masks on when you sit down, when you order, and when you're waiting for your food to come. When you're done with your meal or drinks, put your masks back on.
Going back to wearing face masks is the only change and if we all do the right thing and keep our exposure down by taking simple precautions, it'll hopefully be the only change that's needed to prevent the Delta variant from becoming a serious problem in the South Bay. It goes without saying that if you haven't been vaccinated, it really is critical that you get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Regardless of your insurance coverage or your immigration status, all Covid-19 vaccinations are covered by the Federal government. Go to sccfreevax.org to learn more and find a vaccination location near you.
So What Changed?
The Delta variant is as much as 3x as contagious as the original virus.
It's so contagious that it's no longer rare for vaccinated people to get "breakthrough" infections.
Vaccinated people with Delta breakthrough infections can be significantly infectious. Just how infectious is not clear, but it was previously believed that vaccinated people with breakthrough infections could only be weakly infectious at worst.
What Hasn't Changed
The chance of a fully vaccinated person dying of Covid-19 is miniscule.
Very few vaccinated people end up hospitalized.
The vaccine still gives you good all around protection, but it's not impenetrable.
Masks make it harder to spread the virus.
So here we are again. We know you're frustrated and exhausted about things changing so abruptly all the time. Please think of how much more frustrating and exhausting it is to be operating a small business in such a difficult time. We're again calling on you to help all of us struggling to keep retail shops, restaurants, and small businesses alive by being your most compassionate, patient, and cautious selves.
- Mercury News: What you need to know about the new Bay Area mask order
- Stat News: What Delta has changed in the Covid pandemic — and what it hasn’t
- WaPo: What you need to know about the highly contagious delta variant