Skip to Main Content

COVID-19 Information: Santa Clara County and Bay Area, California

Trustworthy information about COVID-19

1. Wear a Fitted Face Mask that Covers Nose and Mouth

There have been several different Orders and recommendations about face coverings - here are requirements and guidelines currently in effect in the Bay Area. 

As of March 2, 2022 wearing a mask indoors is no longer required, but it's still recommended.

However, we still may be required to wear a mask :

There are exemptions for:

  • children under 2 years old; and 
  • while communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

See the California statewide guidance on masks for more details.

Free N95 masks are available from pharmacy chains throughout the US.

If you do wear a mask, be sure to wear it properly! It needs to fit close to the face, and cover both nose and mouth.

how to wear a face mask

Current recommendations are to wear a mask that is equivalent to an N-95 (KN94, KF94, or similar) although if that's not available, here are some alternatives:

2. Testing, Distancing, Staying Home when Sick

Now that at-home rapid antigen tests are readily available in the U.S., we need to think about when to test to help slow the spread. Definitely test if the symptoms of COVID are present, but asymptomatic infections mean that we could spread it without even knowing. The CDC's online testing calculator helps to make that decision. To decide if we should test ourselves, use the for individuals link below. (The for organizations link is intended to help schools, health facilities, etc. decide how often to test their personnel.)

Our section on Testing has a lot more information in detail.

Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces

Stay home when sickTest often; wash hands often

3. Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date

Getting vaccinated agains SARS-CoV-2 protects ourselves, but it also protects the people around us. It greatly lowers the chance of getting sick, and when sick, also reduces the chances of shedding virus to infect others.

However, as explained in the section of this guide on Vaccines, immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is not a one-time shot. Our antibodies fade over time,  and as this virus mutates, may fail to respond as strongly to new variations. Booster shots are necessary to keep up immunity.

Proof of Vaccination

  As of October 2023, the CDC no longer issues COVID-19 vaccination cards.

As of this time, CA still maintains those records as part of its CAIR (California Immunization Registry). Individuals are encouraged to sign up with its Digital Vaccine Registry portal, and to update their records whenever they get a booster.

For people in Santa Clara County, here's advice from our county Public Health Department on how to update your information with CAIR:

Request vaccine verification from the state

The text on this page is copyright PlaneTree Health Library, licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Linked contents are the responsibility of their creators or copyright holders.