SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Some counties in the Bay Area are starting to consider lifting mask mandates, but a health expert says it may be too soon.

UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford warns public health officers should hold on a little while longer to end the mask mandate. Especially since we are entering the season of get togethers, starting with Halloween.

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The fun, cute and ghoulish costumes are back on the racks as adults and kids get ready for a full return of Halloween.

“This will be her first Halloween, trick or treating.” Akila Calssadara added, “The kids are so excited because they lost it last year,” says parent Erica Martinez.

According to Dr. George Rutherford, it should be safe to go door-to-door again. That is, if kids and adults are taking the steps to stay safe.

Erica Martinez said , “I’m still a little concerned because she’s still little and she can’t get vaccinated.”

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Dr. Rutherford said studies have shown COVID rarely transmits on surfaces.

“I don’t see there being huge risks as long as kids are wearing masks and taking the right kind of precautions,” said Dr. Rutherford.

Some Bay Area counties such as Contra Costa and San Francisco are considering easing those precautions by lifting the mask mandate. Dr. Rutherford said we should wait and see what happens in Santa Cruz first since the county was the first in California to lift the mandate last week.

“My advice would be to take a slower approach to discontinuing masks in indoor areas where you potentially having mixing of vaccinated and unvaccinated people,” said Dr. Rutherford.

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The Food and Drug Administration is expected to hold a hearing for the emergency youth authorization of the vaccine for kids on October 29th. If approved, vaccines for ages 5-11 may be available as early as November 1.