The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reaffirmed their stance on recommending masking inside public indoor places on Monday amid a jump of COVID-19 in the past few weeks.
Since the repeal of state and local indoor mask mandates in the late winter and early spring of this year, fluctuating COVID-19 transmission rates, as well as recent new case rises and new variants, have had counties considering a return of some form of mask mandate. During the summer, Alameda County brought their mandate back briefly, with LA County nearly doing so but dropping plans to do so at the last minute due to both a turnaround of new cases and enormous public outcry.
While few, if any, mandate talks occurred throughout most of the fall, an increase of COVID-19 cases spurred the LA County Public Health Department to begin looking into possible public mandates again. On Friday, the County said that official indoor masking recommendations would go out as soon as new cases were at 100 per 100,000 residents. The County Department of Public Health once again confirmed this figure on Monday, announcing that the County was close, with the rate at 86 out of 100,000.
COVID-19 Daily Update:
November 21, 2022
New Cases: 1,123 (3,520,094 to date)
New Deaths: 5 (34,118 to date)
Current Hospitalizations: N/A**
Today’s Positivity Rate: 7.4%
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) November 22, 2022
“Now, it is strongly recommended that all individuals wear a high-quality mask that fits well in the following settings: in public indoor spaces; when using public transit, including buses, ride-shares, taxis and medical transport; correctional and detention facilities; and homeless and emergency shelters,” said county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. “The county is currently reporting about 1,500 new cases a day, up from 1,300 per day a week ago and up 52% since November 1st.”
“We are grateful this year to have the tools that allow us to gather with a lot of safety. It will mean, however, that all of us likely will need to take some commonsense precautions to avoid future disruptions and the spread of illness.”
While recommendations are being stressed more and more, experts note that an all-out mandate is not looking likely in LA County or elsewhere in California at this time.
“No one wants to bring that back,” explained Luisa Renteria, a nurse in Los Angeles who has assisted COVID patients since March 2020, to the Globe on Monday. “From what we’ve been told, a mandate is far down the list of what people want to do right now. The person who says to do it again is going to face a lot of heat. Really, a mandate, right now, is only reserved if things get bad, or if another outbreak occurs. With Flu season and RSV happening right now, and now COVID moving up, easy precautions are still recommended. Wash hands, cough into your elbow, things like that.”
“I know by saying ‘mask mandate’ I make a lot of people get on edge because of how hated it was, but just remember it is something healthcare officials don’t take lightly. We don’t want to do this unless we have to as well.”
More info on possible indoor masking recommendations are expected with new case rate reports from LA County and others looking at possible action.
With COVID-19 Cases Increasing, Indoor Masking Strongly Recommended to Help Reduce Transmission of Respiratory Illnesses -2,249 New Positive Cases and 8 New Deaths Due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. View: https://t.co/omzYpsBzGF pic.twitter.com/a0BejdJQ0Y
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) November 18, 2022
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