In a joint letter the San Diego County Medical Society and the Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties wrote to County Health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, requesting mask mandates return indoors regardless of vaccination status.
The groups are also calling for COVID-19 vaccination requirements for indoor dining, bars, gyms, and entertainment venues.
“A mask mandate and a vaccine mandate is the way to go we know that after evidence, after evidence that the vaccine will save lives there’s no question about it and short of that the next best thing is to make sure you put a mask on,” said Dr. Will Tseng. “Mandate a mask on especially indoors where the air circulates and you can pass on the virus very easily.”
Dr. Will Tseng is the former president of the San Diego County Medical Society he says the letter comes amid the Delta variant and rising COVID-19 cases citing how healthcare workers are growing fatigued in this third surge.
“I know everybody in the public is tired of COVID but, we’re seeing the worst case of COVID, we’re seeing people dying of COVID unnecessarily,” he said.
The San Diego County Medical Society represents over 4,600 physicians, retired physicians and medical students. HASDIC represents 38 hospitals and integrated health systems in the two-county area.
“Anything to stop this virus that’s been taking forever now, I’m all for it,” said Enrique Sosa, a make-up artist at Angelica B Beauty in South Park.
At the South Park beauty studio customers can forego a mask if they are fully vaccinated, but the team also welcomes customers who choose to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status and it’s all based on the honor system. Something the team at Angelica B Beauty says works for them without it being a mandate.
“Just respect other peoples time, effort, opinions and kind of respect the rules as well if somebody asks you to mask please do so without any hesitation and get vaccinated,” said Sosa.
One issue some shared with NBC 7 is their frustrations on enforcement of mandates and how requirements can make it difficult on staff of small businesses to be the enforcers of these rules, but many agree that they’re willing to do their part in order to not get shut down again.
A San Diego County spokesperson told NBC 7 they are reviewing the letter and sent the following statement:
We continue to follow the California Department of Health masking requirements. In most indoor settings, masks are required for those who are unvaccinated and recommended for those who are vaccinated. Masks are required for everyone in some locations, such as public transit, K-12 schools and healthcare.
We also encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and those around them. The more San Diegans who are vaccinated, the better off we’ll be at putting the pandemic behind us.