Masks Required in All OVA Facilities

Barbara Marquardt at the Berger Center where she checked out a new mask required sign.

 (Updated Friday, Aug. 6)

          Wearing masks indoors at OVA facilities was mandated by the OVA starting Aug. 3, following an order by the county health department along with officials in five other Bay area counties.

            OVA President Tom Kendrick said that “With our vulnerable population, Oakmont has no alternative but to align our policies with the county’s guidance. Please plan to wear masks inside all our buildings. Also, to help us restore more normal operations as quickly as possible and better protect our community, please encourage all who are not yet vaccinated to get the vaccine.”  

            Members who violate masking mandates or any other established OVA policies may be subject to consequences including loss of facility access privileges as well as cancellations of events.

            Sundari Mase, Sonoma County health officer, when asked about cautions for Oakmont and other seniors, said older residents are more affected right now, even if vaccinated.  

            “Oakmont, be careful. Don’t take risks,” she said. “Stay away from gatherings, stay away from indoor settings where others are not wearing masks, and opt for not going to restaurants and take precautions.”

            Like all other Bay Area counties, Sonoma was seeing “sharp increases” in cases, Mase said, with unvaccinated patients accounting for 86 percent of hospitalizations, and no one in the intensive care units in Sonoma County had been vaccinated. 

            “It is important this mandate (to mask inside) be for all, because we are facing a more aggressive and contagious opponent. It is now widespread. This is not the same virus we had a few months ago. It is 60 percent more transmissible,” Mase said.