Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced on Thursday that the county may again impose indoor-mask mandates.
Citing a rise in COVID infections, which have surged to 2,700 new COVID infections per day, up 180% since Nov. 1, Ferrer added that Virus-related hospital admissions are now up 200% in the same time period.
“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 told a press conference.
“Given both the increases in hospitalizations and the lack of certainty in the winter trajectory for COVID-19, continuing some common-sense 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 added, according to ABC7 Los Angeles.
CDC guidelines say that LA County would reach the “high” level if 200 out of 100,000 residents are diagnosed each week. Ferrer estimated the county would reach that level by next week.
Ferrer said that if local hospitals show a daily average admission rate over 10 per 100,000 residents and more than 10% of staffed inpatient beds filled with COVID patients, she would issue the indoor mask mandate.
On Thursday, the first metric had already been reached, with 11.9 new admissions per 100,000 residents, but the second metric had not yet been reached, as only 5.6% of staffed inpatient beds were filled with COVID patients.
Some opposition to the imposition of an indoor mask mandate was voiced on social media, as as The New York Post reported. Aome comments included, “They push false data and fearporn through their daily news,” “The only city that is chomping at the bit to bring masks back is Los Angeles,” and “They’ll have rolling mandates forever.”
Masks are still required in Los Angeles County indoors at health-care and congregate-care facilities, or of someone who was exposed to the virus in the previous 10 days.