Los Angeles County Public Health pushes indoor masking as COVID cases surge

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reaffirmed its position on recommending masking inside public enclosed spaces Monday amid the surge of COVID-19 in the past few weeks.

Since the repeal of state and local internal mask mandates in the late winter and early spring of this year, COVID-19 transmission rates have fluctuated, and in addition to the rise in new cases and new variants, counties have had to consider the return of some form of mask order. Over the summer, Alameda County briefly re-authorised, with Los Angeles County nearly doing so, but dropping plans to do so at the last minute due to a turnover of new cases and massive public outcry.

Although few, if any, authorization talks occurred during most of the fall, an increase in COVID-19 cases prompted the Los Angeles County Public Health Department to begin looking at potential public authorizations again. On Friday, the county said official masking recommendations for enclosed spaces will be issued once new cases reach 100 per 100,000 residents. The county public health department again confirmed that number on Monday, announcing that the county was close, with a rate of 86 out of 100,000.

“Now, it is highly recommended that all individuals wear a quality mask that fits well in the following settings: in public indoor settings; when using public transportation, including buses, taxis, and medical transportation; correctional and detention institutions; and homeless and emergency shelters,” the health official said. County Dr. Monto Davis. “The county is currently reporting 1,500 new cases per day, up from 1,300 per day last week and up 52% ​​since November 1.”

“This year we are grateful to have the tools in place to allow us to congregate with a great deal of safety. However, it will mean that we will likely need to all take some commonsense precautions to avoid future disruptions and the spread of disease.”

While the recommendations are being emphasized more and more, experts note that blanket authorization does not seem likely in Los Angeles County or anywhere else in California at this time.

“No one wants that back,” Luisa Renteria, a Los Angeles nurse who has helped COVID patients since March 2020, explained to The Globe on Monday. “From what we’ve been told, the mandate is at the bottom of the list of what people want to do now. The person who says to do it again is going to take a lot of heat. Really, the mandate is, for now, only reserved if things get worse, or if there is another outbreak. With flu season and RSV happening right now, and now COVID rising, it’s still recommended to take easy precautions. Wash your hands, cough into your elbow, things like that.”

“I know by saying ‘mask mandate’ I’m putting a lot of people on edge with hate, but just remember it’s something health care officials don’t take lightly. We don’t want to do this unless we have to either.”

More information on potential indoor masking recommendations is expected with new case rate reports from LA County and others looking into the potential measure.

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