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Sonoma County’s new mask recommendation provokes concern, anger

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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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