Los Angeles on verge of new mask mandates due to COVID-19 spike

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A sign advises shoppers to wear masks outside of a story Monday, July 19, 2021, in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles. Los Angeles County has reinstated an indoor mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Los Angeles on verge of new mask mandates due to COVID-19 spike

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Los Angeles County, which had some of the country’s strictest COVID-19 mandates during its yearlong California lockdown in 2020, is poised to return to mandatory mask mandates.

The largest county in the United States is amid a COVID-19 surge that has placed transmission levels at “medium,” with 2,490 new infections every day, said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

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But the count is likely much higher due to people who aren’t reporting their illness or have done at-home tests. If the number creeps into the “high” level, Ferrer will impose an indoor mask mandate, ABC News reported.

“There is this common line of thinking that the pandemic is over and COVID is no longer of concern, but these numbers clearly demonstrate that COVID is still with us,” Ferrer said.

Currently, the county has 185 cases per 100,000 people, and if the number reaches 200 infections, that would prompt a move into the “high” level. The number has steadily risen since late October, and based on this trend, the numbers will reach 200 by next week, Ferrer said.

Another trigger would be hospitalizations exceeding 10 per 100,000 people with more than 10% of the patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Given both the increases in hospitalizations and the lack of certainty in the winter trajectory for COVID-19, continuing some commonsense mitigation strategies that we know work to limit transmission and illness, including masking and being up to date on vaccines and boosters, remains a very sensible approach,” she said.

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Los Angeles has had a strong push toward vaccines, resulting in 73% of the residents being vaccinated. People over 65 have a 92% rate, while children under 4 are 6% fully vaccinated.

Mask mandates have been required off and on in Los Angeles County since the pandemic ended. In July 2021, they were re-initiated for indoor public places after a delta variant surge.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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