Sonoma County’s new mask recommendation provokes concern, anger

11 August 2021

Sonoma County’s new mask recommendation provokes concern, anger

Astride his bicycle and on his lunch break, Drew Merritt went zipping past the Plaza in downtown Healdsburg on a recent afternoon, bound for the takeout counter at El Farolito.

The mercury was pushing 90, yet Merritt, the head mechanic at nearby Spoke Folk Cyclery, was rocking a mask as he rode, almost as if he’d forgotten it was there. “I’ve been wearing it for so long,” he explained, “it’s just not that big a deal anymore.”

Merritt made that observation six days after Sonoma County — along with six other Bay Area counties and Berkeley — took the eyebrow-raising step of recommending masking indoors for everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated. While that “high recommendation” is less urgent than an actual health order, it’s still a regressive, concerning step, coming merely a month after California governor Gavin Newsom reopened the state.

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