Council Connect Articles

San Francisco Department of Health Rescinds Mask Mandate & COVID-19 Data Collection


  • San Francisco Department of Health, specifically Health Officer Susan Philip, MD, MPH  
  • San Francisco hospitals 


San Francisco was the last county in the state to maintain a mask mandate for all patient care areas, which was rescinded on May 1.  

Several months ago, Dr. Susan Philip, the county’s health officer, joined the other Bay Area health officers in requiring masks during the winter respiratory season, which ended on April 30. Dr. Philip’s goal was to allow San Francisco’s mandate to terminate entirely at that time, bringing San Francisco into alignment with surrounding counties. 

In lieu of any further mandate, Dr. Philip’s rescission order strongly recommends hospitals develop policies that require the donning of masks upon patient request. This approach addresses ongoing concerns from patient and disability rights advocates who continue to press for safer environments. Dr. Philip also reminded hospitals that stricter policies can be implemented if desired.  

Dr. Philip has decided to continue COVID-19 hospitalization data collection. In the absence of state and federal data sources, she is concerned about losing insight into what is happening across the county. She inquired about the current impact on hospital teams, wondering if this reporting requirement was too onerous. While our hospitals encourage Dr. Philip to reconsider the continued reporting, the general feedback is that hospitals understand the concerns and can continue reporting. Dr. Philip’s intent is to remove this reporting requirement as soon as other syndromic surveillance tools are available. 

Hospital members appreciated that Dr. Philips solicited hospital feedback and her commitment to reviewing any policies or mandates that may impact hospitals.   

Takeaway/Next Steps

We will continue our ongoing engagement with Dr. Philip. She looks forward to connecting personally with the Section at an upcoming meeting.


RVP Michon Coleman at