LA County won’t reinstate indoor mask mandate as cases and hospitalizations see downward trend

Los Angeles County won’t reimpose an indoor mask mandate just yet after COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations appear to be trending down, and the area may soon return to the “medium” community level of spread of the virus, officials said Thursday.

Instead, public health officials will continue to strongly recommend masking indoors.

New cases and hospitalizations are down and the daily case rate for the region has stabilized, Ferrer detailed.

“It will be a welcome relief if this current surge has peaked,” she said.

The county entered the high tier on July 14, prompting county health director Barbara Ferrer to warn the public of a possible indoor mask mandate issued to slow the spread.

And while LA County remains at the “high” community level based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicator, Ferrer said local officials will wait to further analyze the data based on its own measurements. , more current.

“Since most of our local data trends are just starting to decline, we decided to take a closer look at the rate of hospital admissions using our own data…so we can get a better idea precise where we might be headed,” Ferrer said. Thursday.

Ferrer remained hopeful that, given declining cases and hospitalizations, the county would return to the lower category of community spread. And given that trend, county health officials decided not to reinstate the universal indoor masking requirement.

“We’re going to take a break and not move forward for the moment,” Ferrer said.

The threat of a return to office has sparked controversy. Several cities, including Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Long Beach and most recently El Segundo, had announced this week that they would not enforce any warrants.

Additionally, two members of the LA County Board of Supervisors had indicated they opposed reinstating a regionwide mask mandate.

In an open letter, supervisor Kathryn Barger said “masking mandates lack empirical evidence to support their effectiveness, are unenforceable, polarizing, and weigh heavily on the social-emotional well-being of children and youth.”

Likewise, supervisor Janice Hahn said she would prefer to align with the state in strongly recommending masks, but not requiring them indoors.

In a statement after the decision was announced, Barger said she was “happy” the warrant was not coming back.

“I hope we can now move from this heightened focus on masking mandates to what really matters – focusing on promoting vaccine effectiveness and boosters, improving access to COVID-19 treatments. and continue to educate our county. residents on the benefits of masking,” Barger said. “I’m comfortable leaving that decision in the very capable hands of the public.”

As of Thursday afternoon, LA County reported 7,009 new cases and 18 new deaths.

Currently, wearing a mask indoors is mandatory for anyone over the age of 2 in the following places:

  • Health care settings
  • Public transport and transport hubs
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Shelters and cooling centers
  • correctional institutions
  • When required by a business or employer
  • Hearths on construction sites
  • For 10 days following diagnosis or exposure to COVID-19

Click here for more information on masking in LA County.

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