Vacaville waking up to COVID threat – Council votes mask mandate for City buildings and events

Vacaville Council requires masks for Vacaville city buildings, some outdoors activities

Fairfield Daily Republic, By Susan Hiland, September 17, 2021

VACAVILLE — City Council members voted Tuesday to require face masks indoors at city buildings and during certain activities as the delta variant continues its surge.

Council members debated the proposed directive of the use of face coverings inside all city facilities and while participating in outdoor programs and events conducted by the city when social distancing is not possible.

“I think people have the right to make the decision that is best for their family, whether to put something in your body or wear masks,” Councilman Roy Stockton said. “This to me feels like tyranny.”

“This is not about tyranny,” Councilman Michael Silva said. “This is about how to keep staff safe and showing that we genuinely are concerned for keeping staff safe.”

The city government has experienced firsthand the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

A total of 29 city employees tested positive for Covid-19 in August and numerous others were forced to miss work for testing and quarantine due to workplace exposures, the city reports. Several of the positive cases were in vaccinated employees.

Solano County Public Health reported 773 active Covid-19 cases in the county as of Wednesday with 92 people hospitalized and the availability of staffed ICU beds at 23%.

Roy Stockton Michael Silva
“Part of this is looking at this as a business,” Vice Mayor Nolan Sullivan said. “We have an outbreak in the city and it is affecting how business is working. I am for anything that helps keep things moving.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended July 27 that face coverings be worn in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status, in areas of substantial or high Covid-19 transmission. The California Department of Public Health has recommended that fully vaccinated people wear face coverings in indoor public settings statewide.

Vacaville has the lowest vaccinate among its residents 12 and older – 68.3% – among the seven Solano County cities.

The number of reported cases is going down from the surge seen in August. But numbers are still high with some 11,399 cases in Vacaville. The number of deaths is 280 with 16 recently added during the current surge.

The CDC has released data that indicates people who are unvaccinated who contract Covid-19 are 11 times more likely to die than are those who are vaccinated.

The face-covering mandate will be effective until repealed by either the city manager or the City Council.