LA County to demand indoor masks amid COVID-19 outbreak – .

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LA County to demand indoor masks amid COVID-19 outbreak – .


Faced with a worrying increase in coronavirus cases, Los Angeles County will once again require residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces – regardless of their immunization status.
The new order, which comes just over two weeks after the county recommended the same protocols as a precaution, will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, according to county health official Dr Muntu Davis.

Some exceptions will apply, Davis said, but the order will be similar to the requirements that were in place before California reopened on June 15.

“We are not where we need to be for the millions of people at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late given what we are seeing now,” Davis said. to reporters on Thursday.

LA County has recently seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases. In the one-week period that ended Wednesday, the county reported an average of 1,077 new cases each day – a 261% increase from two weeks earlier, according to data compiled by The Times.

Davis reported an additional 1,537 cases on Thursday.

A slight increase in cases, combined with the presence of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus, was behind the LA County urging in late June that all residents wear masks in indoor public spaces.

Cases have increased rapidly since then, and county health officials now believe more direct intervention is needed.

Davis said he expects the new order to stay “in place until we start to see improvements” in community transmission.

He called universal interior masking as one of the most effective ways to curb the spread without disrupting operations at businesses and sites – which just a month ago were able to shake off the shackles of restrictions related to coronavirus.

But, he acknowledged, additional intervention may become necessary if conditions deteriorate.

“Everything is on the table if things continue to get worse, which is why we want to act now,” he said.

The renewed restrictions in LA County, the country’s most populous, are a blow to both the region’s efforts to recover economically from the pandemic and to a population keen to put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.

But with similar increases statewide, some other counties are also urging their residents to take extra precautions.

Earlier this week, health officials from Sacramento and Yolo counties made similar calls for all of their residents to wear masks in indoor public places, though none have made it mandatory.

“The drastic increase in cases is concerning – as is the number of people who choose not to be vaccinated,” Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County public health official, said in a statement. “Our best protection against COVID-19 is still the vaccine. We urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, their family and friends. “

Statewide guidelines on face coverings remain unchanged, according to the California Department of Public Health. However, the department “supports local health departments, such as Los Angeles County, by developing stricter policies based on the conditions in their community.”

“Vaccines remain the best protection against COVID-19, including the highly infectious Delta variant,” officials wrote in a statement to The Times. “We urge everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine because it is the most important thing we can do to stop the spread of the virus. “

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