Stating that the county may again impose indoor-mask mandates, Barbara Ferrer, the director of public health for Los Angeles County, announced on Thursday.
In addition, she noted that virus-related hospital admissions had increased by 200% in the same time period, reaching 2,700 new COVID infections every day, up 180% since November 1.
In a press conference, Ferrer said, “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.”
Adding, “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.”
According to CDC guidelines, if 200 out of 100,000 residents are diagnosed each week, LA County will reach the “high” level. And by next week, Ferrer estimated the county would reach that level.
The indoor mask requirement will be implemented if local hospitals demonstrate an average daily admission rate of over 10 per 100,000 residents and more than 10% of staffed inpatient beds are occupied by COVID patients, as Ferrer said.
As only 5.6% of staffed inpatient beds were filled with COVID patients, the second metric had not yet been reached. However, on Thursday, with 11.9 new admissions per 100,000 residents, the first metric had already been met.
However, on social media, there was some disagreement about the requirement to wear an inside mask, as The New York Post reported, “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,” were some of the remarks.
In Los Angeles County, masks are still necessary inside of healthcare and congregate care facilities, as well as for anyone that within the last 10 days, has been exposed to the virus.