BART will lift the COVID-19 mask mandate on October 1

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OAKLAND — Bay Area Rapid Transit officials announced Thursday that the current mask mandate would expire on October 1, one of the last places in the region where pandemic-era mask rules remain in effect.

The agency’s board of directors approved a new resolution on masks that would activate a mask mandate when public health officials require it in their jurisdiction. As no requirement currently exists, the mandate may expire.

As masking requirements have eased in the Bay Area and California, BART has largely enforced its rules except for a few brief periods earlier this year. Masks were briefly optional at the end of April After a Federal Judge Cancels the Federal Mask Mandate on Public Transportationbut the agency reinstated its own requirement days later.

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The requirement for face covering: was dropped again on July 18but the agency restored the mask mandate on July 28citing an increase in COVID-19 cases during that time.

According to the resolution passed Thursday, masks will be required again if any of the following conditions are met:

  • A health officer in one of the counties BART serves restores a mask mandate (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo, or Santa Clara)
  • The California Department of Public Health reinstates a mandate for indoor masks.
  • The Centers for Disease Control or Transportation Security Administration reinstates a mandate.
  • Every metropolitan area in the US is experiencing a COVID-19 wave as defined by the CDC.
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BART said masking in the system still strongly recommends and free masks will continue to be available through station agents and BART police personnel.

The relaxation of the mask rules on BART will come in the same week as the California Department of Public Health has updated its guidelines say face coverings will no longer be required for employees and visitors to meeting facilities such as prisons and shelters for the homeless.

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