MONTEREY COUNTY — Monterey County Board of Supervisors has voted to suspend the masking requirement of its indoor face covering ordinance, effective immediately.

“This means while wearing face coverings in indoor public settings remains strongly recommended, it is no longer required,” according to Maia Carroll, the county’s communications coordinator.

The countywide ordinance, which took effect Nov. 5, is currently tied to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Community Transmission Rates for Covid-19.

The requirement to wear masks indoors was triggered when Monterey County reached the “Substantial” level of those rates; however, the ordinance allows the Board the option to suspend those requirements, which it did Tuesday by a vote of 3-2. 

The supervisors are expected to get a report on local metrics and Covid-19 data reporting at its upcoming Dec. 8 meeting. Carroll said the Board may consider revising its indoor face covering ordinance to be tied to local data reporting instead of the CDC rates.

As of Wednesday, Monterey County was still listed in the “Substantial” level on the CDC Covid Data Tracker website.

“All county residents are reminded to continue to follow state face covering requirements ( and that Monterey County’s Health Officer strongly recommends residents wear face coverings indoor public settings to help reduce virus transmission,” Carroll added.

Tuesday’s vote does not affect Monterey County’s requirement that face coverings be worn in all county worksites and facilities by both employees and members of the public.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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