Read the full updated health order here.
Exactly a month after Los Angeles County dropped most of its COVID mandates for fully vaccinated people, the party is already effectively over. Health officials announced Thursday that they’re reinstating the requirement that everyone mask-up indoors, regardless of their vaccination status.
The renewed mask mandate goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, KTLA reports.
“We’re not where we need to be for the millions at risk of infection here in Los Angeles County, and waiting to do something will be too late, given what we’re seeing,” L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said.
He wouldn’t put a date on when we’ll once again be able to forgo face coverings. He also wouldn’t rule out additional restrictions.
“Anything is on the table if things continue to get worse, which is why we want to take action now,” he said.
One culprit is the super-transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has been the major contributor to an alarming spike in positive COVID cases recently. On Thursday, the county Department of Public Health recorded 1,537 new cases, a jump of 83 percent over last week, and the sixth consecutive day of 1,000-plus new infections.
Statistics from DPH for the week ending Monday, July 12, show that infections had risen by 250 percent from just two weeks before. DPH reported 1,044 new cases on Friday; 1,069 on Saturday; 1,113 Sunday; 1,059 Monday; and 1,103 new cases on Tuesday.
Another culprit are the many, many people who still have not seen fit to get themselves vaccinated—which is free.
“Over 99 percent of the COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths we are seeing are among unvaccinated individuals,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Monday. “The COVID-19 vaccines are the most effective and important tool to reduce COVID-19 transmission and the spread of variants like the highly transmissible Delta variant. Getting fully vaccinated is the way we protect you, your family, and our community from COVID-19 and the Delta variant.”
Less diplomatic in laying down the situation was L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. Discussing unvaccinated people on Tuesday, Kuehl said, “It just strikes me as enormously selfish. We can’t rely on herd immunity if the herd won’t get their shots.”
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